Themes in Blindness by Jose Saramago

“Blindness,” is a story written by Jose Saramago. It is about a man who went blind during rush hour. After a man stole his car, spontaneous blindness follows. The epidemic’s name was, “white sickness.” It is a disease that instantly turns everyone blind, except for a woman. In the story there are several themes including, human nature, the fragility of society, blindness, and gender relations.

In the story, the author talks about human nature in a dark way. He describe humans as self-serving, and will do anything to survive. “If we cannot live entirely like human beings, at least let us do everything in our power not to live entirely like animals.” That quote was expressed by one of the most important characters in the story, which is the doctor’s wife. I find this quote fascinating because in the story, 7 of them were living inside a madhouse in quarantine, and therefore the living situation became more animalistic. They were trying to change the way they were living, in order to protect them from other diseases and maintain a safe environment. Another thing that she says was, “when is it necessary to kill?” After she kills the man with the gun. Her conscience starts to torment her. After sometimes she answers that question by saying, “When something that is alive is already dead.” She started thinking that the man with the gun, was a bad man and inhuman, and she did what she had to do.

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The fragility of the society was apparent in the story, because people suddenly were unable to cooperate with one of another due to there lost of sight. So they start thinking every man is for themselves. “Do not lose yourself” is a quote were he was comparing his story, and the doctor’s wife story, as similar because he believe the doctor’s wife might be suffering more than the rest. This is because the doctor’s wife is the only woman who can see. So she witnesses all 300 of them, and the atrocities done by these people. ?…