What are the most significant recurrent symbols in Paradise of the Blind? What do the symbols represent? Through what examples are the symbols seen?

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Some of the most significant recurrent symbols in Paradise of the Blind are blindness, sickness, water and river. Another is sky; it is tied closely to the river symbol. Being fluid symbols, like the fluidity of life, these symbolic representations can vary with different uses: as symbols they can bend just as a river bends, "like there's no river without a bend."

  • Blindness: represents an unthinking, unseeing life devoid of analysis and examination ("blind obedience"); represents the way to go, the path to take (blind soothsayer, blind alleys).
  • Sickness: represents approaching death and loss of ability to thrive (psychological as well as physical); represents pretense ("Don't tell them I'm sick" "Uncle Chinh wasn't sick").
  • Water (a versatile symbol): represents destiny, muddy world condition, blindness (opaque, cinder manteled), cleansing (silk, rice), spiritual cleansing (death ritual), seeing and perceiving (reflection, "liquid mirror"), murder and death (silk worms boiled, suicide by...

(The entire section contains 554 words.)

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