I don’t think we did go blind, I think we are blind, Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see.
What would happen if you got blind? what would happen if suddenly everybody got blind?
Ensaio sobre a cegueira, translated into English as Blindness (which I don’t like, I’d prefer its literal translation Essay on blindness, but that’s just a personal opinion) suggest a world where everybody gets blind. What if blindness is something you transmit?
Saramago presents the horror of a society in which all the inhabitants get blind, gradually, consequently creating different status and injustices among the “blind”. When no one sees what is around they only look for themselves. This books shows us a plate of horror and desperation. When we can’t see we get lost.
This is just an excuse to talk metaphorically. Blindness is present in many eyes who can actually see. Blindness is not only the disability to see but the lack of willingness to do it.
…you do not know, you cannot know, what it means to have eyes in a world in which everyone else is blind, I am not a queen, no, I am simply the one who was born to see this horror, you can feel it, I both feel and see it…
Blindness is a hard book, not because of Saramago’s peculiar writing (he doesn’t distinguish between narration and dialogue or the different characters’ dialogue…) but for its harsh picture of Horror. It’s a wonderfull description of a world that no one sees and still you can imagine it, see it and even smell it.
I read it in September 2009 when working on my own and personal essay on blindness and it helped me to open my eyes and stop being blind.
if, before every action, we were to begin weighing up the consequences, thinking about them in earnest, first the immediate consequences, then the probably, then the possible, then the imaginable ones, we should never move beyond the point where our first thought brought us to a halt.