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Uluslararası Sosyal Araştırmalar Dergisi / Thé Journal of International Social Research became a member of Cross Reff since 2014 and started to assign DOI numbers to the articles. Bu Dergi DOI ve Crosscheck üyesidir


Abstract


A SOCIO-PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACH TO BLINDNESS AS A SAMPLE OF DYSTOPIA

Millions of people died in various epidemics such as plague, cholera, yellow fever, HIV / AIDS, Spanish Flu, Sars, and Ebola throughout history. The number of people infected with COVID-19, which started in Wuhan, China in December 2019, has now exceeded 3 million and more than 200 thousand people have died. This epidemic still continues to threaten the whole world. While epidemics change the fate of thousands of families, they also lead to economic, sociological, and psychological destruction in societies. They also deeply affect some branches of art, especially cinema and literature. Today, the media also gives a place to the news that novels about Corona started to be written as well. Some of these novels take place in literary history as works of dystopia. I suppose the main reason why the authors prefer writing dystopic novels is that this genre gives more opportunities to freely use the imaginations. José Saramago's novel, Blindness is one of the works that bring a different perspective to the epidemics that deeply affect people's lives. In this dystopian novel the author fictionalized, Saramago tries to explain how the conscience of people got blinded along with the physical blindness when all people lost their vision. In fact, the author implies how evil is inherent in humans and it subconsciously drags societies into chaos under the control of an authority based on state and religion. In the novel, people who suddenly lose their sense of sight are quarantined by the state in a building previously used as a mental hospital. Patients, who are isolated from the community and treated with special treatment under normal circumstances of the quarantine, are left here and allowed to harm each other. In this place, a group, which seizes power, turns into a gang and turns this place into prison and starts to torture other blind patients. Throughout the novel, we witness that all the values are disregarded. The author also emphasizes the function of being the carrier of the meaning in the dominant ideology by subjugating the human body with visual defects. The contradictions created by blindness sometimes lead to a grotesque and parodic narrative. The author believes that those who are oppressed by such hardships will reach victory with their determination to fight. Saramago develops a critique of the state and religion based on the negativities experienced in the city surrounded by hunger and dirt. The ideology the author adopts has a big impact on his stance. This study analysis José Saramago’s novel titled Blindness from a socio-psychological perspective.



Keywords
José Saramago, Blindness, Utopia, Dystopia, Portuguese Literature, COVID-19.



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