Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ursula's Blindness

When taking the test today I came across something that I thought was kind of interesting. I was writing about Ursula Buendia's blindness and I suddenly had a realization....that maybe the reason she is blind is because she figures out that time is repeating itself (although we already knew that from class) and the reason she can be blind and not have to see her family members is because she knows that each one of them will make the same mistakes as their predecessors. I believe this is illustrated when Marquez writes that Ursula knew where everyone was in the house. This is one of Marquez's subtle hints that Ursula has indeed figured out his riddle that time repeats itself and because she knows that everyone will repeat their daily routine, and the lifely-routines of their ancestors, she does not need to "see" (literally) what everyone is doing and where they will be because she already know what they will be doing and where they will be!! (phew, take a big breath and try to read that sentence without stopping!)


Laura N said...

Nice observation. I find that usually in novels, characters that are visually blind often "see" past the ordinary and superfluous stuff that other characters worry about, but have insight on other deeper sides of life that others don't see. For example, in Frankenstein the old man in the hut was blind. He couldn't see the grotesque monster so he wasn't afraid to speak with him. (I don't really remember what they talked about specifically, but what I got from it was that the blind man gave him a chance, didn't judge him like the other characters did, and made a connection with him. He saw past his hideousness and treated him with respect beacause he saw the monster's humanity while others did not.) It's ironic that she's blind but she's the only one that notices the cyclical pattern of her family's life.

Michell D said...

Usula was always the linchpin of the family who managed to pull the family through many troubles. She was always able to know exactly what was going on and what (she thought) she needed to do. However when she becomes blind (which i think is just from old age not necessarily from "figuring out that time is repeating itself") she is no longer able to use her vision to see what is happening so she is forced to realize that the Buendias are repeting their history. Marquez forced Ursula into a position in which she could actually be the "all-knowing" mother because even though when she could see she knew what everyone was doing, once she became blind she understood everyone on a deeper level than just appearances. Once she memorized the mannarisms and smells and habits she was alost like a map to the Buendia family who could decipher their everyday lives.She was able to reach that deeper insight that Laura was reading about. One last thing I would like to add is sort of a question because I don't know why she wouldnt just tell everyone that she is blind and instead decides to hide it. Was she too prideful to revel he disabilities? did she not believe it herself? Did they discuss it in the novel and I happened to miss it?!

Ben Bonner said...

I think Usula's blindness also is a metaphor for the decline of the Buendia family. Ursula had always been the most grounded and clear headed member of the family. Once she goes blind, the decline of the family seems to accelerate, and physical manifestations of the decline, such as the detereoration of the house and its being eaten by ants/termites, become more prevalent. If I remember correctly, its also after her blindness that the rains come, which lead to the decline of Macondo, which is arguably a microcosm of Columbia as a whole, and therefore marks the irrevocable damage imperialism has done to Latin America.