Last Reviewed on March 5, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 351
In the short story "The Blind Man" by D. H. Lawrence, the main character, Isabel Pervin, is married to Maurice, a man who was blinded a year ago in World War I. They are happy and in love, and Isabel has made it her main focus to accept and adapt herself to Maurice's blindness to the point of making him her whole life. The narrator says,
She had one article of faith, which was, that husband and wife should be so important to each other, that the rest of the world simply did not count.
With this in mind, Isabel consumes herself, and him, with love and intimacy.
But Isabel is now expecting a child. Her world will expand, and she feels pressured by this overwhelming love and connection she has with her husband. Isabel would like to be emotionally free to invest herself in thoughts of the coming child rather than consumed by Maurice and his needs:
She did so want to luxuriate in a rich, physical satisfaction of maternity. But the man, what would he do? How could she provide for him. How to avert those shattering black moods of his, which destroyed them both.
While, for the most part, Maurice and Isabel are a happy couple, there is also an evident need for both of them to reckon with Maurice's blindness in a way that has not yet been actuated.
When Bertie, an old friend of Isabel's, comes to visit, a dramatic moment of epiphany occurs for Maurice—a moment that not only addresses questions that he himself has of his blindness but that gives the reader hope that Isabel's fears will subside as well. In a poignant and intimate exchange withBertie, which involves the sense of touch, the narrator reveals Maurice's thoughts:
The new delicate fulfillment of mortal friendship had come as a revelation and surprise to him, something exquisite and unhoped for.
It is perhaps the first time that Maurice has truly acted out his blindness. In having this breakthrough moment, Maurice, and hopefully Isabel, come to a new and more satisfying acceptance of Maurice's blindness.
Unlock This Study Guide Now
- 30,000+ book summaries
- 20% study tools discount
- Ad-free content
- PDF downloads
- 300,000+ answers
- 5-star customer support