Why does Jose Saramago give no names in his novel Blindness?

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In many ways, Nobel Prize-winning author Jose Saramago's novel Blindness is a political allegory. That all of the characters are referred to not by their names but by their professions and their relationships to one another (e.g., the doctor, the first blind man, the first blind man's wife, etc.) serves to emphasize the allegorical, almost fabulist nature of the novel and makes them akin to unnamed characters in Aesop's fables like "The Sun" or "The Northwind." Defining characters by their roles in the world, even as the rules of said world rapidly deteriorate, puts the emphasis of the story not on individuals but on power structures and group dynamics.

The namelessness of the novel's characters and settings is more than just a stylistic choice, however. In choosing to leave the characters without names, Saramago found a brilliant way to have the experience of the reader mirror the experiences of the people that populate the dark world he has created. Over the course of the novel, every...

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