The Blind Prophet, Daredevil?

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Foster's chapter on blindness really opened my eyes on the topic. Puns aside, I've seen the blind prophet character over and over again in literature, and while I always knew what that character's purpose was and how their character would act, I never gave it that extra thought as to why blindness would give them these powers. Foster talks of one of these prophets and writes

"When the specialist arrives, he's blind, Can't see a thing in the world. As it turns out, though, he is able to see things in the spirit and divine world, can see the truth of what's actually happened, truth to which our hero is utterly oblivious" (201).

The particular specialist he speaks of is Tiresias, from Oedipus Rex. While I know this story and this character, and even discussed the constant barrage of sight imagery of the work, I never asked the question why. It's not that I did not ask "Why is Tiersias blind?" Obviously it is a plot device used to make a point. This point being that you should trust the prophet and not have children with your mother.

This made me look at other blind characters and apply this thinking. Take for instance, the comic book superhero Daredevil. If you don't know, Daredevil was blinded as a child, which heightened his other senses to superhuman levels. Besides being the basis of his character, I think that the blindness is also used as a type of plot device, similar to Oedipus Rex. Possibly Daredevil being blind is saying that he is the one that really sees, sees how to make a difference, and sees what his city needs. Daredevil's sight impairment also makes him have no fear. Maybe literal sight keeps other from doing what he does, meaning that seeing what happens to other makes people scared.

All of this could be over analyzing a character in a comic book, but isn't that exactly what Foster wants us to do? The fact that I could make possible assumptions based on the simple fact of blindness, assumptions that I'm sure other could agree with, makes me think that works outside the comic book realm offer a much deeper chance at interpretation.



Jennifer Prex said:

I don't think it's over analyzing. That's interesting way to look at it. He does see towards justice in more ways than one. He may be blind in the traditional sense, but he can still see more than those around him.

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