Summary of 'The Country of the Blind'
Plot: In this tale a mountain climber falls off into a strange and isolated world which is inhabited by blind people who claim to have been in existence for about 15 generations and cut off from the rest of the world by an earthquake in the early years of founding. The intruder remembers an old rhyme and quickly decides that "In the Country of the Blind, the One-eyed Man is King." However, his attitude seems wrong in a society which no longer knows the meaning of the word "see" and still operates perfectly, effectively and happily with their other senses tuned sensitively. Virtually imprisoned and relegated to serve them, the interloper begins to learn living with his disability - his sight. Eventually he falls in love with a woman. He gains the permission to marry her only if he is willing to abandon his eyes, which are deemed the course of the irrational outbursts which occurred in the beginning of his 'imprisonment', and have them removed. When he finally has to choose between his love and one of his most important senses, his sight, he chooses the latter one and decides to break out. Interpretation: The whole story is a reversal of the idea of disability which shows us that the circumstances alone define the word disability. The experience of being an alien seems to be the major point of this story. The visitor first thinks that he has got an advantage over the blind people, remembering an old phrase: "In the Country of the Blind, the One-eyed Man is King," but his advantage turns out to be in fact a disadvantage. The climax of the story is the end where he has to decide whether his sight is more important to him or love.
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