الثلاثاء، 18 مارس، 2014

Freedom of sight

H.G. Wells : The country of the blinds

 Nunez, an armed climber of mountains, falls in the valley of blinds.
They hit him a second level citizen and make him all inferior work, entirely because of his sight ability.
And, when he asks for Medina-Sarote hand, they concur on one condition: to remove his eyes.

The primary idea is Freedom. The author materializes its value into  a physical struggle between a servile society and Nunez: the freedom fighter" He thought of that great free world that he was parted from,"1.

There are two conflicting sides of the story: Nunez: who is unique , knowledgeable " a reader of books in an original way, "2 and able to see; His weak point is civilization" The canker of civilization had got to him and he could not  assassinate a blind man. "3, that failed him from receiving a higher society rank.
The blind society: they are strict followers of rules and sanction.
Since the writer was in concern to the slavery issue, we can record the similarities between the vale of the blinds and slave communities or countries under dictatorship.

The valley's people are under two kinds of compulsion: 
Outer coercion: due to their disability which precludes them from knowledge of vision.
And an insider coercion presented in: authority (the philosophers), rules (road access, work, valley boundaries, tribal norms and even female's beauty measures), group thinking (a belief in them own superiority), group influence (group forming by suppressing oppositions toward a group similarity)
Isolation and myth (their isolation from the outer world and the ready methodological answers that diminishes their tendency to ask, know or doubt and leave them satisfied with the current state of affairs). " Blind men of genius had arisen among them and questioned the shreds of belief and tradition, they had brought with them from their seeing days... and they had made for themselves new imaginations with their ever more sensitive ears and fingertips. "4

Wells discovers that knowledge is freedom's key. Knowledge based on the sensations (visual sense) "angels, whom one could hear singing and making fluttering sounds, but whom no one could touch at all, which puzzled Nunez greatly until he thought of the birds."5, for accepting beards as creatures, not angels, on science (that diseases are because of bacteria and germs versus the valley's medical practices which could cost Nunez his sight).
The setting of the story arises the contradictions of aspects
For the place and time: the valley is really beautiful, gifted by nature and birds; people do sleep at day and wake up at nighttime.
The mountains ring the valley as a natural obstacle striking the actual isolation of the vale. Philosophers are ruling from the most obscure room which represents the blindness of vision and authority.
Narcotic nature of love
Nunez, fell in love under hopeless circumstances. After his failed rebellion.
Medina-Sarote's love is his powerful sedative in all berths, when he is down her promising marriage offers him a higher society rank and a loving acceptance. When he is full of hope, he conceives of her semi-closed eyes opening. He admires her voice, since its the most subordinate characteristic among her people.
He loved about her, what looked like him, and his masses. He loved himself in her image.
Out of that love blindness. Out of its narcotic affection which leads him to sight loss.
At this very moment of awareness, he departed; leaving his beloved one behind, loving and rescuing himself as a surviving man who owns a huge egoism, the egoism which helps him dropping the world behind and cares  about himself and himself only.

It’s a narrative of a blind society, but Wells proves that real disability comes from the deficiency of awareness.

 (1) P 11
 (2) P 2
 (3) P 8
 (4) P 13
 (5) P 5




Author:

I am a whole universe 

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