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2000), there is some evidence to suggest that on the topic of suicide, a significant contrast does not exist between fact and fiction, between people with impaired vision and "the blind". However, the premise of this paper is not that there is no link but that there is no intrinsic link between people with impaired vision and the cultural construct of "the blind". The point is that if people with impaired vision are in any way prone to suicide, the degrading nature of Blind Mythology must be recognised as a contributory factor. After all, one’s ‘reputation, whether false or true, cannot be hammered, hammered, hammered’ into one’s ‘head without doing something to one’s character’ (Allport, 1954: 142). This assertion is substantiated in the first study because the woman’s anger is based on the idea of learning Braille and associating with "the blind" (Blank, 1957); in the second study because the man fantasises about blindness, about ‘being led helplessly through a dark maze of dangerous streets and alleys’ (Caplan, 1981: 169); and in the third study because the man commits suicide as he begins to lose his eyesight and the woman on the day she is given the prognosis of "blindness" (de Leo et al, 1999). In other words, in each case the suicidal act is based on belief rather than experience, on the fiction of “blindness” rather than the facts of visual impairment.

Suicide in Depictions of Visual Restoration

Consideration must also be given to what has been rendered a counter intuitive position, for literary discourse links not only visual impairment but visual restoration with depression. In the early twentieth-century play The Well of the Saints, for example, Martin Doul defends himself and Mary by saying, ‘We’re not asking our sight, holy father, and let you walk on your own way, and be fasting, or praying, or doing anything that you will, but, leave us here in our peace, at the crossing of the roads, for it’s best we are this way, and we’re not asking to see’ (Synge, 1905/1996: 100). More explicitly, in Happiness is Blind, Helen is rendered ‘depressed and worried’ after her ‘first glimpse of the


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