Blindness Summary and Analysis of Part XIV


The group gets ready to go, finds some new shoes and sets out in search of the girl with dark glasses' home. They move very slowly because they are starved. Eventually they get to the girl's building and find that no one is in the building. They happen upon an old woman in a flat on the first floor who seems to have gone completely insane. She tells the group that she has been living off rabbits from the coop in her backyard. She catches them, breaks their necks and eats them raw. The group is able to get into the girl's apartment through an open window and they decide to stay there for the night. The next day, they ask the old woman to hold the key for the girl, who decides to come back every week or so to see if her family is there. The woman grudgingly agrees in exchange for food.

They then decide that the best thing to do would be to stay together, no matter what. They then set out in search of the doctor's house, which is the nearest. Passing through the financial district, they see the wreckage of the financial panic that gripped the city as more and more people began to go blind. Many of the expensive cars are now occupied by families of blind people. Finally, they reach the doctor's home where he is able to open the door after miraculously keeping the key.


The woman who lives on the first floor of the girl's building functions as a kind of limit case of humanity. She appears to have completely descended into animal survival mode, eating raw rabbits that she catches with her hands. She also lives in complete filth, her house filled with half-eaten carcasses and excrement. Her family is nowhere to be found and it is unclear how they got separated. She seems to be human in name only. In the allegorical reading, we see this woman as the ultimate end of the fall from the world of understanding that the sighted world symbolized. It is interesting that the narrative is organized so as to present two opposing figures living in the homes of two members of the first ward. This first woman has lost almost all semblance of humanity except her ability to speak. In the next section the group will meet a writer living in the house of the first blind man who will serve as the counterpoint to the woman living in the girl's house.

After a visit to the girl's house, the group affirms its cohesiveness and the theme of home or belonging becomes stronger. This is in part because open confrontation with others is at a minimum because of openness of the city, thus the positive features of the group are highlighted as opposed to the antagonism of the quarantine. The experience in the girl's home drives home the point that the physical structure of one's home is of little importance. More important is to be with those that will care for you and for who you care for.

Walking through the financial district brings home the theme of the fragility of society. These bank buildings are large and imposing, visually representing their trustworthiness. All of this has come to naught, though, in the face of the epidemic. Everything that the bank stood for is gone and has been replaced by mere survival. This reversal of roles is shown metaphorically in the limousines that have been repurposed as shelters for the blind.