The book begins with no real indication that it is connected to Blindess, but slowly Saramago reveals details indicating that this story is taking place four years after the epidemic of white blindness that plagued the country in Blindness.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Saramago’s style focuses on the political repercussions of the plot events before delving into any specific characters. The interesting thing about Saramago’s style is that no one is given a name. The characters are called by their professional titles or a obvious physical quality, such as “The minister of justice” or “the girl with the dark glasses.” I find this style refreshing and clearly pointed. By doing this Saramago allows his characters to be universal, that is to say, able to conform to any imagination, country, etc. Saramago has allowed his characters to be more relatable or distant than many authors have been able to achieve, simply by omitting their names.
Saramago’s characters left me with a restored faith in humanity and a radiating distain for government. Saramago has no reservations when it comes to his opinion about corrupt government and their irrational, immoral, and ridiculous ways of governing. I don’t usually read politically saturated books, I don’t even like to discuss politics, but Saramago’s work makes the subject breach-able and even likeable.
Saramago explains a unique and ultimately poetic truth about language throughout his book as a sort of side to his main plot and themes. I’ll leave you with one of the lines from Seeing that expresses the eloquence and brilliance of Saramago.
“It is interesting to observe, he said, how the meanings of words change without our noticing, how we often use them to mean precisely the opposite of what they used to mean and which in a way, like a fading echo, they still continue to mean.”