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misstemple1261 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mr. I is an artist who suddenly became completely colorblind. After a car accident that was potentially caused by a small stroke, Mr. I went home to his wife in a state of confusion. After a long nap, he could not remember the accident, and his wife found out about when she saw the dent in the car. The next week, he suffered from alexia, the inability to read, and complained that words looked as if they were in Cyrillic or Greek, two completely foreign languages to him. Though this vanished after a few days, Mr. I then suddenly noticed that his world was drained of color.

Normal color blindness only slightly impairs a person’s ability to see color. It’s a very common vision deficiency that makes it more difficult to differentiate between red and green, as well as sometimes blue and yellow. Mr. I had a completely different form of colorblindness. For him, color ceased to exist. Formerly an abstract painter, he “knew all of the colors of his favorite paintings, but could no longer see them, either when he looked or in his mind’s eye.” Mr. I describes this state as “like living in a room molded by lead.” People were “animated gray statues.”

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