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Chapter 22: He's Blind for a Reason, You Know
Transcript of Chapter 22: He's Blind for a Reason, You Know
Whenever there is a blind character, there is something more (a bigger picture) at work. When an author introduces a blind character he "[has created a minor constellation of difficulties for himself] so something important must be at stake when blindness pops up in a story" (Thomas C. Foster 202).
More Chapter Analysis - The Indiana Jones Principle
Have you read/seen a book, play, or any work of art that had a blind character who had an important role, "showed everyone the truth", or brought you or other characters in the story a better understanding of what was really going on? What book or play were they from and what was their role?
In our chapter, Thomas C. Foster talks about blindness in the characters in a work of art and how they can play an important role and bring a better understanding to other characters. He also stated that if the author wants the audience to notice something, then he will tell the audience (perhaps not blatantly though).
"If you want your audience to know something important about your character (or the work at large), introduce it early, before you need it."
Example - "Say we're two-thirds of the way through Raiders of the Lost Ark and suddenly Indy, who has heretofore been afraid of absolutely nothing, is terrified of snakes. Do you buy that? Of course not. That's why Steven Spielberg, the director, and Lawrence Kasdan, the writer, installed that snake in the first sequence, before the credits, so that when we got to the seven thousand snakes, we'll know just how badly they frighten our hero." (Thomas C. Foster)
More Chapter Analysis
Oedipus Rex is play in which a prince unknowingly kills his father and married his mother (making him king). Then a great drought came to the kingdom and the only way that the gods allow it to rain is if the killer of the previous king, Laius (father of the current king and stranger who killed him), was found and killed. So in order to save the kingdom, Oedipus sets out to find and kill the murderer (himself). Oedipus is blind of his transgressions until the blind prophet, Teiresias, "brings the matter to light". Also, once blindness is proved to be an important variable in the work of art, everything after has to be seen as "who saw what, who failed to see, who is really blind".
(Concept: Indiana Jones Principle)
One way that an Author can show that there is blindness is through phrases like, '"bring the matter to light"', '"look into things"', and '"show everyone the truth"'. These phrases tell the reader that there is something deeper than the initial observation.