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Which books should you read while self-isolating from coronavirus? Show more Show less

Books can be life-changing. They can be a form of escapism that give a unique perspective into lives, times, places and ideas we will never experience ourselves. Or, a way of learning new ways of thinking, being and approaching the world. With all this time now spare, what are the key texts we should be reading?

Science Fiction Show more Show less

Feels like we're living in it. Might as well read it.
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Blindness

Jose Saramago creates a chilling alternate reality, where blindness is contagious, and society becomes susceptible to collapse in the face of fear and brutality.
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Context

The Argument

You should read Blindness by Jose Saramago while self-isolating because it explores the effects of a crisis on humanity. Saramago’s book is an allegorical tale that explores a town's reaction to an epidemic that causes people to suddenly become blind. [1]As the entire town becomes seemingly affected, society seems to collapse in panic. It causes the reader to think about how reason can dissipate in a time of crisis. This allows them to reflect on their own actions in response to the current pandemic and consider how they can overcome panic in a time of crisis. People should also read Blindness because it makes the reader consider societal behaviors in general. Times of crisis tend to bring out the extremes in people, both good and bad. Throughout the story, the author introduces extremist actions of brutality and overwhelming kindness. During the pandemic, there have been similar extreme occurrences. Through reading and observing the similarities, readers can see how humanity is affected on a global scale by these extremes. [2] Blindness also gives hope to the reader in a time of crisis. Although the book is extremely dark in some places, the moments of kindness and love suggest that humanity is not completely lost in times of fear. In addition, the book ends on a hopeful note. This reminds the reader that even in times of crisis, they can have hope that their pain will come to an end.

Counter arguments

In times of crisis, people do not want to read about fictional, catastrophic situations. This can lead to more anxiety about the future. While self-isolating, reading fiction should give people a way to escape their situations, not dwell on them even more.

Framing

Premises

[P1] When thinking about how the coronavirus impacts the world, people should consider how it impacts human nature. [P2] Blindness by Jose Saramago explores human nature in the event of a worldwide crisis. [P3] The coronavirus pandemic is a worldwide crisis that will change human behavior. [P4] People should read Blindness by Jose Saramago.

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.nfb.org/sites/www.nfb.org/files/images/nfb/publications/bm/bm08/bm0811/bm081105.htm
  2. https://www.npr.org/2010/12/28/132292587/in-saramagos-blindness-a-vision-of-human-nature

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This page was last edited on Friday, 12 Jun 2020 at 21:37 UTC