Blindness Questions and Answers
by José Saramago

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Do you have any ideas on the psychological lens of the novel Blindness? I'm writing an essay analyzing the novel Blindness through the through the "psychological lens."  I'm supposed to explore and argue what I believe the text reveals about human behavior, our sub-conscious or social motivations, the world of the characters, or the way society is structured and run.

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It's a great novel, and with blindness as its dominant motif, it's a complementary text to Oedipus Rex.  So any psychological criticism of the Oedipal complex is worth looking at: the mother as the visionary.  As all the males are blind, it's a spiritual version of Freud's theory: a desire to get rid of God (the father).  Did man kill God, or did He abandon us?  Regardless, man is morally blind and must replace God with mother.

The novel shows how society acts like an individual child (id) who reverts back through the stages (oral, anal, sexual).  Mom, as the only one who sees, is Superego, and we must follow her around: lots of hand-holding.

First, it goes through the oral: competition for food.  Hoarding.  Loss of communication.  Not enough mommy to go around.

It goes through the anal stage again: it sleeps and roots in its feces.  Society must be potty trained by mommy.

Then, society goes through the sexual stage.  Why do the men become pimps and the women prostitutes?  Mommy as sexual avenger.  Lots of castration stuff.

It's a great topic.  Good luck.

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