Describe Nunez's character in The Country of the Blind.  Which aspects of human nature does his character represent?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Let us just remind ourselves of the scenario of this brilliant story. Nunez inadvertently, after a mountain accident, finds himself in the legendary country of the blind in Ecuador, a community of individuals that have been blind for generations but have also been sealed off from the rest of their country by a landslide. As the only individual who can see, he tries to encourage this community to embrace change, and even contemplates using force when they ignore him and treat him as a ridiculous oddity and as if he were disabled.

It is possible to read this story allegorically, as clearly the setting and the situation is very symbolic. In Nunez, we see the power and force of inevitable progress and advancement in humanity. However, he is placed in a situation where his ideas of advancement and progress are met by a conformistic society that is so boxed in by its own realities that it is unable to see that anything could be different or better. Nunez is therefore used to represent a keen, inquiring mind, who wants to make things better, and symbolises the best of humanity or humanity's irrepressible instinct to try and develop and improve.

As such, Nunez is actually different from how the author sees most humans, who, in his way of thinking, are so dominated with the daily toil of obtaining what they need to survive that they become deprived of any desire to change their situation and see improvements in their life.