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Published: 28-10-2019

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The Significance and Symbolism of Blindness

Blindness is prevalent all all through human society and a lot more specifically, all all through human nature. To be blind can mean a myriad of issues. Literally and physically, it signifies to lack suitable vision. When taking that definition to a figurative level, it signifies to fail to see via the perspectives of other individuals, or it can also mean to overanalyze and fail to see the accurate form of a situation. Based on the situation, the effects of blindness can either be constructive or negative, though it is normally the latter. In Richard Wright’s novel Native Son, the theme of blindness recurs a multitude of times, and all definitions of blindness apply at least as soon as within the book. The vast effects of the varying multitudes of blindness are prominent within the mindsets of the characters of Native Son, and eventually, it teaches a lesson about society as a whole.

Blindness seems repeatedly throughout the book within a assortment of characters. The very first conspicuous conveyance of blindness is identified in Mrs. Dalton. Mrs. Dalton is physically blind and, due to the fact that she is not capable of seeing, she is also figuratively blind as effectively. In this case, Wright portrays this particular sort of blindness to be a constructive attribute. Considering that Mrs. Dalton can't see the distinction in skin colour, she is not biased towards men and women based on their race. She is really kind to Bigger and even requires interests in what he would like to do with his life. In addition, she even provides to spend for him to go to evening school to pursue a suitable education for himself. “He had a feeling toward her akin to that which he held toward his mother. The difference in his feelings toward Mrs. Dalton and his mother was that he felt that his mother wanted him to do the things she wanted him to do, and he felt that Mrs. Dalton wanted him to do the items she felt that he need to have wanted to do,” (Wright 61). Within the moment that these feelings of warmness ran by way of Bigger’s thoughts, it appeared as if he was temporarily blind to his racism against whites given that Mrs. Dalton was blind to any kind of racism against blacks. This can be ascertained, because Mrs. Dalton was a single of the only white characters Bigger ever believed somewhat fondly of. By which includes these specifics inside the story, Wright proved the point that a single is not born with innate racism prejudice is anything that need to be developed. If everyone had been blind, racism would be nonexistent, for no a single would even be capable to acknowledge the existence of a race if it cannot be seen.

Despite the fact that a good side to blindness exists, a damaging side coexists as effectively. Up till the finish of the story soon after Bigger had gotten caught and gone to trial, he was one particular of the most severely blind out of all the characters. Rather than viewing whites as individuals, he viewed them as a mass of people—one that he ardently hated. He hated even these who were type to him, like Jan and Mary, since alternatively of believing that they were type, he believed that they have been mocking him or making some sort of joke out of him. This blindness prevented him from taking the actions towards pursuing opportunities—opportunities for progression and advancement, and possibilities for adjust in his life, as nicely as in the lives of other individuals. Alternatively of taking up on Mrs. Dalton’s provide to go to college and far better himself, Bigger turned that opportunity down. In addition, rather than actually befriending Mary and Jan and possibly helping them comprehend specifically how it feels to be an oppressed African-American, Larger emotionally ostracized them. Due to his ignorant blindness, Larger also constructed a wall so high, that it was impossible for any person to get in or for him to get out, thus stopping any type of private progression. It was not till the really end of the novel when Larger finally realized how it was wrong of him all of his life to view whites as a single mass of evil racists attempting to hold him back from pursuing what he wanted, when he could have viewed them as individuals, for there were some men and women who in fact wanted to assist him advance in life.

By incorporating this recurring theme, Wright aimed to probably make his readers realize their personal wrongs, as effectively as vividly display one particular of the true roots of racism and prejudice: blindness—blindness to one more person’s feelings and perspective—blindness to empathy—blindness to the reality that the victims are human beings as nicely. By generating Mrs. Dalton physically blind and in turn, figuratively blind to racism as properly, Wright proves the point that prejudice against yet another race is not a valid explanation to hate an additional particular person, due to the fact one should be judged by the character content material, not by their physical appearance. If everyone have been blind, racism would cease to exist, for no one would be in a position to judge a particular person by the colour of his or her skin if it can't be noticed. By making Larger figuratively blind, Wright proved an additional point: being blind to empathy and to the perspectives of other people leads onto dehumanization of the oppressed in the eyes of the oppressor. This is the plain and basic cause of how racism can exist in the initial spot. When 1 can view his or her victim to be inferior or less than human, only then can he or she inflict harm upon that victim with out feeling remorse.

No matter what time or era, literal and figurative blindness will constantly exist in society. Initial of all, racism and prejudice still exist in society and undeniably, it often will. Even although the racism has toned down and there is now far more tolerance, there are numerous men and women out there who are nevertheless racist against people of specific races. As of proper now, there is much hate and prejudice surrounding Middle Easterners as nicely as the religion of Islam. Due to what occurred on 9/11 and also with the varying terrorist attacks, Americans have jumped the gun and have aimed their hate towards Muslims and Middle Easterners. Yes, the majority of the terrorist attacks were created by Muslims and Middle Easterners, but that does not necessarily mean that all Muslims are evil. There are several who practice the religion peacefully through a diverse interpretation, and due to the blindness of America, there are many individuals who fail to see that. Folks ought to be viewed as folks, not as a mass. In addition, there is also a lot prejudice and discrimination against homosexuals due to the blindness of today’s society. People boast about America getting a nation of freedom and acceptance, but how can one brag about one thing that is not correct? In this contemporary day and age, gays are still not totally accepted in society, and they are also not permitted to get married in particular states. This is due to the ignorant blindness of American society. These men and women fail to see by way of the perspectives of homosexuals, and they fail to see that feelings, along with sexual orientation, is some thing that is neither controllable nor alterable. It is totally sickening to see the levels of closed-mindedness and ignorance rise as the levels of purpose and empathy decline towards a lot of of the scenarios occurring inside society right now.

Blindness is an innate part of human nature and will constantly exist within society. A lot of the time, individuals do not even recognize they are blind, so by depicting the blindness of society along with generating blindness a recurring theme inside Native Son, Richard Wright succeeded in doing the globe a favor. On a figurative level, there are both positive and unfavorable facets of blindness. First, Wright portrayed how blindness could have constructive effects by producing Mrs. Dalton blind within the story. Since she was physically blind, it ultimately made her blind towards racism as nicely given that she could not see the distinction in skin color, thus proving that the colour of one’s skin is an invalid justification to judge somebody upon. On the other side of the spectrum, Wright also displayed the negative side of blindness: the side that ravenously eats away at one’s humanity. Bigger’s blindness towards whites was a key contributor to his downfall in life. Rather than viewing whites as folks, he viewed them as a single oppressive mass. On the other hand, racist whites viewed African-Americans as a single inferior mass as nicely, rather than as person human beings. When 1 views one more particular person by means of such a narrow viewpoint, it dwindles the empathy he or she has for another individual as empathy is tarnished, it slowly disintegrates the degrees of humanity along with it. By vividly exhibiting such behaviors within Native Son, readers may possibly recognize the times that they have been blind. Larger could have realized his wrongs and opened his eyes as well late, but hopefully readers can procure a lesson out of this novel and open their eyes from blindness soon enough to right their wrongs.
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