|WikiProject Novels||(Rated B-class, Mid-importance)|
Last paragraph of Criticism
The last paragraph of the Criticism section reads
- In the novel, after the White Sickness has lifted from the city and society is rebuilt, the health officials who ruthlessly caged the infected blind people in the decrepit asylum are put to trial for their inhumane acts, yet are acquitted. Unsatisfied with this injustice, a group of formerly infected citizens who call themselves "the Cellmates" abduct seven people and subject them to the same horror they (the Cellmates) endured in the asylum when the White Sickness devastated the country as revenge for being locked up rather than taught how to cope with their newfound handicap.
I just finished the novel and the above does not happen in the edition I just read. Could it be that someone confused these plot points from the sequel Seeing? The Blindness_(novel)#Plot summary section does not mention this either. AmritTuladhar (talk) 03:16, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Spoiler, plot summary
- Wikipedia does not use spoiler tags or warnings. A plot summary is a summary of the plot and a plot's ending is critical to understanding a work. If you didn't want to know the ending, you shouldn't have read the summary of the book. - 126.96.36.199 (talk) 15:41, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
I have just done a bit of copy editing on the plot summary here. But I would like to do a much more extensive edit as I think the plot summary should be much shorter and tighter. I'll wait to see if anyone might have any objection, though it doesn't look like this article has gotten too much attention since it was written. The plot summary that we presently have is thorough and engrossing but simply way too long IMO.DianaW 19:11, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
Okay, here is my proposed plot summary. I'll post it here and wait for awhile to see if anyone comments. Mine is a bit bloodless compared to the original perhaps - I wonder if combining them in some way would work.
Blindness is the story of an unexplained mass epidemic of blindness afflicting nearly everyone in one (unnamed) city, and the social breakdown that swiftly follows. The novel follows the misfortunes of a handful of characters who are among the first to be stricken and centers around a doctor and his wife, several of the doctor’s patients, and assorted others, thrown together by chance. This group bands together in a family-like unit to survive by their wits and by the (also unexplained) good fortune that the doctor’s wife is one of only a few individuals who has escaped the blindness. The sudden onset and unexplained origin and nature of the blindness cause widespread panic, and the social order rapidly unravels as the government attempts to contain the apparent contagion and keep order via increasingly repressive and ineffective measures.
The first part of the novel follows the experiences of the central characters in the increasingly crowded and filthy asylum where they and other blind people have been quarantined. Hygiene, living conditions, and morale degrade horrifically in a very short period, mirroring the society outside, which is also disintegrating. Fights over food, rapes, and atrocities accumulate. When the army can no longer maintain the asylum (because most of the soldiers have gone blind too), the inmates escape and join the throngs of nearly helpless blind people outside who wander the devastated city and scrabble to survive.
The story then follows the doctor and his wife and their impromptu “family” as they attempt to survive outside, cared for largely by the doctor’s wife, who still sees (though she must hide this fact). The breakdown of society is near total. Law and order, social services, government, schools, etc., no longer function. Families have been separated and cannot find each other. People scrounge for food and shelter; violence, disease, and despair have overwhelmed human coping. The doctor and his wife and their new “family” eventually make a permanent home and are establishing a new order to their lives when the blindness lifts from the city en masse just as suddenly and inexplicably as it struck.DianaW 19:26, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
It strikes me this article belongs higher on the "importance scale." It is presently rated low. Low is defined as: "Subject is not particularly notable or significant even within the field of literature , and may have been included primarily to achieve comprehensive coverage of a notable author or other notable subject." This is the 1998 Nobel prize winner for literature.DianaW 19:47, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
- I agree. Who decides what importance things have on that scale? Tigger89 16:25, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, I put in my summary. I wish there were somebody to talk about it with!DianaW 04:13, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
I'll start on some of the critical material on this novel, and other Saramago pages, soon.DianaW 04:14, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks to Nlu for reverting that latest thiing.DianaW 14:26, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
I have a problem with a comment in the "cultural specificity" section. The text reads: "The few definite identifiers of culture portrayed may hint that the country is Saramago's homeland of Portugal [...] some dialogue uses the familiar 'tu' second-person singular verb form (a distinction which does not exist in English, but does in Portuguese)." I do not think that the fact that the Portuguese original of the novel uses "tu" may hint that the country is Portgual. A Portuguese-language novel will use the Portuguese T-V distinction regardless of which nationality is involved. A Portuguese writer describing an English girl talking to her father would use "tu." I hope my point is clear.
- I just worked on the prose in the "Style" section a bit, but I'm not sure about the comments about Portugual (I really wouldn't know, but my guess would be that the above commentator is correct that all the pronouns tell you is that the original was written in Portuguese). (Jose Saramago almost makes me want to learn Portuguese.) Also, I don't think it's correct that the characters in "All the Names" don't have names, I'm pretty sure at least the main character had a name, though there may have been a bunch of nameless petty bureaucrats (hm, kind of like wikipedia), and in that case I think the anonymity functions to intimidate (hm, again like wikipedia). I'm even closer to certain the characters in "The Cave" have names, but I don't have time to verify this right now so I'll leave it alone. Names are an interesting thing in Saramago. Either the characters have no names at all, or they have names that really call attention to themselves; I can't call the names to mind but the main character and his "double" in "The Double" have crazy wild names. In "Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis," the book is named for the main character, and names are also important in "History of the Siege of Lisbon." (Two really great books, btw.) And how about "Balthasar and Blimunda"!DianaW 02:08, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
curious about a few dates as i am writing an analytical essay on the novel
i was curious if anyone knew when this novel was credited with being an international best-seller or if Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature for this novel or all his works? if anyone has any other facts or information that could be of value please leave me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. if you are interested in posting this analytical essay once its finished, please contact me at the email address i provided above. thanks -ryan —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 23:00, 14 April 2007 (UTC).
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Categorization as fictional disease
This novel is currently categorized under Category:Fictional diseases. I am not sure how a novel can be a fictional disease, unless the novel is so terrible that it inflicts various symptoms on its readers. There is an important distinction between the novel and the disease described in the novel. If someone creates an article on the white blindness, then we can categorize that as a fictional disease. This article, however, should not be categorized as such. − Twas Now ( talk • contribs • e-mail ) 11:47, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
- It means 'Essay on the Blindness'. − Twas Now ( talk • contribs • e-mail ) 04:47, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
- 'Essay On The Blindness' is dumb redneck-speak. Simply replacing words with their dictionary counterparts is not translating! A literal translation of the title into decent English would properly read 'An Essay On Blindness'; or even, 'On Blindness', simply. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 23:35, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Similarity to short story Darkness
The story is very similar to a prior short story called "Darkness" by Andre Carneiro. In the story Darkness, people are no longer able to see, as light begins to fade. The light from a match fades, the light from the sun fades and so on. Everything goes dark and the story follows a main character who hooks up with a small group of people who were blind before the event that takes away the light.
I read the story in a paperback called "Best SF 1972" edited by Harry Harrison and Brian W. Aldiss, published by Berkley Publishing Corporation in July 1973. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 74-116158. The story in the book was translated by Leo L. Barrow. The book says the story was first published in Nova 2. DJParker39 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 18:39, 25 July 2010 (UTC).
The article states that the girl with the dark glasses is a teenager. I am not sure this was ever mentioned in the novel.
Inclusion of Night in See Also section
I'm curious as to why Night is listed under See Also. The linkage offered is "a Holocaust memoir that begins in the context of similar atrocities" but if the comparison between the two begins and ends at both describing atrocities (admittedly each within state-established quarantines/concentration camps) then this seems like a weak justification, and one that would merit the inclusion of scores if not hundreds of additional works. An assertion that the society-wide white blindness featured in Saramago's book is an allegory for voluntary/moral blindness on the part of German society under the Third Reich might make the comparison stronger, though at the cost of certainly simplifying and probably misconstruing the author's intent.
As it is Night being one of only two items in See Also seems arbitrary when the connection is largely thematic, especially in such a saturated literary theme as atrocity/violence. However, I'm not sure whether removing Night from See Also or adding more works to it in order to broaden the frame of reference would be more appropriate.
I'm curious as to others' thoughts on this. I should admit that I read Night over five years ago and so any very subtle linkages between the two texts may have escaped me, and I would welcome a correction based on citations of relevant passages in either work. --smf (talk) 00:50, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
- Hi. I am the user who added the link. The basic rationale was after reading this novel and the plot description of Night, I noticed some thematic similarities, closer to your second description than the first. Mostly it is the context of blindness to the moral implications of killing people, and another point is the social breakdown that ensues after the internment of a certain group of people of whom it is believed to contain a certain 'scourge' on society, that is in the Third Reich era the Jews were believed to be responsible for all the ills of the economic situation while in this novel the blind people are thought to be destroying society. Thanks. ~AH1 (discuss!) 16:19, 4 August 2011 (UTC)