What is the significance of the character of the "blind Negro" in Harold Pinter's The Room?

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choucksolace eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The character referred to as the "blind Negro" in Pinter's The Room functions both as a classical oracle and as a culmination of the play's naturalism. His presence in the basement of Rose's building and his later intrusion into her home suggests a racially charged atmosphere where black skin symbolizes darkness and danger. However, his blindness also alludes to the figure of the oracle in classical Greek tragedy, who is blind yet all-seeing, predicting the downfall of other characters. Although he is a stranger, he reveals intimate knowledge of Rose's family background. The blind man's presence in Rose's apartment is the catalyst for her husband Bert's unexpected savage violence. As Bert strikes the blind man, Rose is simultaineously struck blind.