Is Eli blind, or can he just read braille?

  • In the Movie "The Book of Eli" we discover at the end that the Bible Eli has been carrying the entire movie is written in Braille.

    Does this imply that he is blind (and has been living completely "by faith" his entire life) or is the punchline of the movie that he is the simply the last living man on Earth who can read Braille?

    He is blind. It's not totally obvious for most of the film.

    At the end, the woman who has become blind can apparently read braille, so he is not the last

    @SSumner Not the last *human*, but perhaps the last man.

    The spoiler tags in the question are a little pointless, given the title.

    I'm glad you asked this. I just watched this movie the other night and, truthfully, if I hadn't gone to look up the synopsis of the movie online I don't know that I would have figured out that Eli was blind. I think I would have just assumed that since he was literate he was also able to read Braille (for some reason...).

    He just really, really liked his sunglasses.

    "Once inside, Eli, who is revealed to be blind, begins to dictate the Bible from memory to Lombardi" - Wikipedia

    @MegCoates - You are self evidently literate. Can you read Braille? One does not necessarily entail the other.

    Honestly I thought the punchline was that he ***couldn't*** read braille, but through God he could still read the last bible, as the latest prophet of God.

    I.e. that he was blind never even occurred to me. He read the bible as if he was sighted, even though it was braille. Remember one of the things attributed to prophets is the gift of speaking in tongues.

    @JohnRiselvato: Funny. That's exactly the quote that, after watching the movie, made me wonder whether WP was wrong there. I didn't notice the subtle cues mentioned in some of the answers here while watching, and thus was convinced he was not blind, given that the movie itself provides the best reasons why he'd carry a braille bible as a sighted man (with bibles being systematically destroyed, he probably was in no position to choose a particular edition, and furthermore, the bible turns out to be effectively protected against reading even though it falls in the wrong hands).

    How large would a single compilation of a Bible in braille be? I don't think his Book is large enough.

    @Izkata Holy cripes!! I was thinking just thicker and/or taller/wider. A single compilation of that would put even the largest of the medieval bibles to shame.

  • He is blind, although it is not always obvious. This was particularly the case for me since I saw this movie on a plane, which had been edited (the movie, not the plane).

    Some of the subtle clues to demonstrate he is blind:

    • When he flicks the lighter open and flicks it, he moves his hand over the flame to prove to him it works because he's blind.
    • He kept clicking the iPod even though it said battery low. If he could see, he'd realize the battery was low. Only after clicking like crazy did he realize it was low.
    • He kicked the bottom stair before walking up the steps to the old folks house.
    • He didn't see the no trespassing sign because he was blind.
    • At the beginning of the movie, he shoots a hairless cat only when he hears it move.
    • It is only after Eli is fired upon from the guy on the roof that Eli takes cover and fires back. And each time someone fires on him, Eli turns in that direction and returns fire. Eli accidentally shoots Carnegie in trying to shoot the guy running in Carnegie’s direction.
    • When Solara first comes to seduce Eli she is obviously dressed for solicitation and she says "don't worry you don't have to pay." Eli replies "pay for what," since he can't see all the visual clues that Solara is giving him.
    • Just before he cooks the cat, Eli searches the house he's in. While he does so, he touches the contents of a shelf in order to glean what its contents are.

    What does an edited plane look like?

    @Xantec The wings are shorter.

    Plus, more leg room.

    @kojiro: Really? Read the question title. "Is Eli blind, or can he just read braille?". That's a big fat spoiler right there.

    @JackBNimble oh, I see. I apologize and have deleted my comment.

    @Zano Only if you think the answer to the title question is obvious. If it's not obvious by reading the question, then it's not a spoiler.

    When you watch the movie for the second time, knowing that he is blind, a lot of these things you mentioned, plus a lot of other small things, become glaringly obvious (IMO).

    @kojiro: No need to apologize (nor remove the comment). It's only a discussion. We're all friends here :-)

    There is a scene where he looks directly at the sun before putting his sunglasses on. That was when I realised what was going on.

    Actually, few blind people who can only read Braille are completely blind. Most have some very limited vision, e.g. detecting light, or some very blurry shapes. Which is not enough to read, or to even recognize people, but is a little more than nothing.

    @Xantec: an edited plane isn't that much different from a regular plane; it's the abridged planes you should watch out for.

    "When Solara first comes to seduce Eli ..." - I perceived that as a clear statement that he was totally aware of the situation but had no intention of participating in the game set up for him.

    I would like to consolidate some of the partial answers in this one, and so add some counterpoints which apparently show that he was not totally blind. Would that be acceptable to you?

    @can-ned_food Go ahead I suppose, if I disagree with what becomes of my answer I can modify it or revert it.

License under CC-BY-SA with attribution


Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM