8 Blind Characters Who Dealt With Life In The Dark

Tuesday, November 29 by Joseph Gibson

Anyone who's ever been to a birthday party with a pinata knows what it's like to be temporarily blind. But imagine if there were no pinata, and that the blindfold couldn't come off. That's the reality for these eight blind characters who dealt with life in the dark – look to them for guidance the next time you find yourself feeling sightless.

A Blind Girl, "City Lights." Charlie Chaplin's masterpiece, "City Lights" deals with the little tramp's romance with an unnamed blind flower girl, who due to her blindness doesn't know the tramp is a tramp. The mix-up happens after the tramp buys a flower from the girl, and the girl hears a wealthy man get into his car before the tramp can collect his change. At the end, her sight restored, she realizes there is room in her heart for the tramp, even though he's not the rich man she thought he was. Blindness might sometimes allow people to see the real you.

The Hermit, "Bride of Frankenstein." Here's another example of a blind character who is able to see the goodness in someone that people with sight cannot. In this case, it's a hermit who lives out in the woods where Frankenstein's monster is chased by some angry villagers. He's the first person who doesn't react to the monster with shock and violence, and the monster appreciates it. Their friendship gets quickly dissolved by those same angry villagers, but for a while, the blind hermit gave the monster a taste of humanity.

Mrs. Stephens, "Peeping Tom." Blindness even has its advantages, as serial killer Mark's downstairs neighbor Mrs. Stephenson is able to navigate her way through various rooms in the boarding house where she lives purely by listening to other people walking around. Mrs. Stephenson is also safe from Mark's knife, since he likes to force his victims to watch themselves dying via a mirror mounted on his camera/knife. Creepy, right?

Helen Keller, "The Miracle Worker." You might know her as the punchline to various questionable jokes, but Helen Keller was a real person who lost her sight and hearing at a very young age. And in "The Miracle Worker," as in real life, she's able to overcome these massive disabilities to become a productive and outspoken activist and social crusader. The "Miracle Worker" of the title, however, refers to Keller's tutor, Annie Sullivan.

Phineas, "Jason and the Argonauts." Phineas, on Greek mythology as well as this excellent 1963 movie, has bad luck even for a blind guy. He's cursed by Zeus to be tormented by winged harpies at all times. They steal his food, knock him on his ass, and generally give him a bad time. The Argonauts rid him of the harpies, and he repays him with directions on where to go next in their quest for a golden fleece. Being blind doesn't mean you can't give good directions.

Susy Hendrix, "Wait Until Dark." Unwittingly in the possession of a doll stuffed with heroin, Audrey Hepburn as Susy is victimized by a ruthless criminal played by Alan Arkin. He concocts a scheme to get her to let him and his cohorts into her apartment, but the cat-and-mouse game goes south with violent consequences. The climax of the movie features Susy shattering every light in her apartment, putting her opponents in the same dark that she is. Only she's used to being in the dark.

Tommy, "Tommy." Tommy may be deaf, dumb, and blind, but he sure plays a mean pinball. That's how the song goes in the absolutely insane "rock opera" Tommy. Unlike most other blind movie characters, Tommy's affliction is psychological rather than physical, and he eventually snaps out of it, only to become some kind of weird pinball-playing rock music messiah.

Daredevil, "Daredevil." It's a well-known phenomenon that the other senses of individuals struck by blindness will be enhanced, as if in compensation for the lost sight. Matt Murdock takes this to the next level, with an enhanced "radar sense" he acquired as the result of a toxic chemical spill. He uses his newfound ability, along with superhuman athletic prowess, to fight crime. He also has a really cool cane.