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How do the issues raised in Blindness relate to the solution to the world's problems...

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yanie8888 | Student, Grade 12 | Salutatorian

Posted July 22, 2013 at 6:19 AM via web

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How do the issues raised in Blindness relate to the solution to the world's problems shown in Brave New World, according to Mustapha Mond?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 22, 2013 at 6:49 AM (Answer #1)

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Both of these texts represent rather grim visions of our society today, but there is a distinct difference in tone, with Saramago's text being far more disturbing and psychologically upsetting than Huxley's more tongue-in-cheek vision of dystopia. In Blindness, the blindness that sweeps through the nation impacting everybody is shown to be some kind of metaphorical blindness that reveals the true lack of vision or understanding within humanity. Note some of the closing reflections of the novel:

Do you want me to tell you what I think, Yes, do, 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.

The blindness then acts as a powerful symbol of the blindness that prevents humanity from seeing what they are really doing to themselves and to each other. The overt vision that humans possess conceals a deeper blindness that covers up the injustice, the deception, the exploitation, and the lies that are perpetuated in every day society. Interestingly it is when vision is taken away that these deeper malaises become much more apparent, as is shockingly shown in the life of the asylum.

In Brave New World, the supposedly perfect world has been made that has completely erased all such sadness and evil, but this has only been achieved at the expense of losing the very basis of humanity. Humans have been transformed into socially predetermined robots who are conditioned into living in a certain way and accepting a certain way of life. Happiness is based on stability, as Mond states:

We have our stability to think of. We don't want to change. Every change is a menace to stability.

This happiness and peace and, above all, control, is only possible through the creation of a society where humans are relieved of choice and free will. Both texts therefore raise massive philosophical issues, but it is clear that Blindness presents the reader with the condition of seeing but not seeing, and Brave New World presents one possible solution to the blindness that is depicted in Saramago's novel--but only at the expense of changing the very basis of humanity.

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