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“She was an abstraction in an abstraction: an impossible intersection of dozens of bright panes, as if the disassembled tiles of a stained-glass window had each been set aglow and animated”.

Blindsight, Pg. 142


After reading some of Part II in the book Blindsight, I found that the most compelling sentence in the book so far is on page 142 about Siri’s mom, Helen. The sentence describes what Helen looks like in the sensory Afterlife. The sentence describes her as colorful, glowing, and constantly changing shape. I find this sentence compelling because it connects to other elements in the book and touches on the question of agency.

First, an element in the book that has similar qualities to Helen is the space ship Rorschach. The book describes the inside of Rorschach as “haunted”, with moving walls and strange sounds (158). Since both Helen and Rorschach have the power to change, the question of agency becomes a concern as the power to change can affect who is in control of the situations at hand. This can hold true for these elements and other elements throughout the book.

For example, I found that Helen does not have a lot of agency in the book, as she is in the strictly controlled environment of the Afterlife and places limits on what she can do. She also has no control over other characters. Siri has control because he has the power stop sharing his feeling with her and  to leave her at anytime. I found Rorschach to be a different story. Inside Rorschach, Siri and his teammates are in an environment where anything can happen, as they do not know much about Rorschach and its capabilities. They also have no control over what Rorschach will do at any given moment and may not have the power to escape.

The question of agency is very important in this book as it will determine the fate of Siri and his teammates. There are many elements in this book, like Mission Control (I think that’s right…?) on Earth, Sarasti, or Rorschach, that suggest that they have true agency, the real power on what will or will not happen. So far, I’m not sure who really has this power. I will have to keep reading to find out.

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