Blindness Summary and Analysis of Part VI


Burying the car thief proved difficult because a shovel could not be found. The doctor's wife volunteers to go ask for a shovel, having to pretend to be blind the entire time. After the car thief is buried without ceremony, a group of blind internees gathers by the gate to await the delivery of the food.

Surprised by their numbers and their eagerness, the soldiers who arrive to deliver the food panic and open fire. Several internees are killed. Once again, the internees are called upon to bury their dead. The disagreement about whether to do it before or after eating leads to a first crisis of leadership. Later, after they have eaten and buried the dead, the doctor goes to the lavatory and finds it in an increasing state of disarray. He realizes that they will soon become animals.


This part sees the development of theme of societal decay. This is seen in two events in the plot. The first is the burial of the first dead body. The second is the growing concern over hygiene in the ward.

The issue of burial of the dead is one that has defined human society from animals since the beginning of the historical record. It establishes that the dead body was once a person and not merely a thing. The task of the internees to bury their own dead is, a reflection of the fact that they are a separate society from the outside world. Even this minimal amount of solidarity, though, is threatened by the fact that they lack the implements to complete this task. The soldiers do not care and if it were not for the fear of infection, they would have left the body to rot in the open air. This signals a progressive decay in social unity.

Another fundamental facet of modern, urbanized life is the regulation of the system of waste management. This simple fact is often transparent to those who live with such luxuries constantly. In the quarantine, this is not the case and this becomes apparent to the doctor in this chapter.

In this section and the last the reader begins to see the army treat the blind people not as fellow citizens but as enemies. As a result, a distinction begins to solidify between the blind world and the outside world and it becomes more and more apparent that the outside world fears and hates the internees. Within the allegorical context of the novel, this can be seen as ironic, since the white sickness is merely the embodiment of the blindness that is our everyday ignorance. This will become more apparent as the distinction between the blind and the sighted becomes more and more apparent, until the blind become the norm.