The Blind Assassin: Theme of Blindness

Examines the theme of blindness in Atwood’s novel, The Blind Assassin.

Atwood’s novel, The Blind Assassin, is a novel of embedded stories, memoirs, newspaper clippings, a novel written by one of the characters, and stories told by a distant and secret relation within the family’s daughters, Iris and Laura. Blindness is offered as a kind of purposeful ignorance, or a refusal to look at what is happening, and as well as a kind of freedom from the consequences of knowing what is happening. In the contexts of Iris’ recollections, her family represents a Pandora’s Box of secrets and betrayals, and as the novelist, Atwood is referring to the ways family secrets can destroy a family. The Blind Assassin is, however, much more than a story about secrets, but a revelation about writing, remembering, and living in the shadows of our own lives.