“A sea of tortured faces, rotating in slow orbits around my vampire commander” (Watts 337).

Posted by on November 16, 2011 
Filed under ENGH 451-Science Fiction

This sentence comes during Siri’s first contact with Sarasti since he was brutally attacked by the vampire. It is significant to the novel in that this is the reader’s first glimpse into the inner-workings of the vampire’s mind. Up until this point, Siri has merely alluded to the sadistic nature of Sarasti’s psyche with such phrases as, “…guilt beaded and rolled off this creature like water on wax” (Watts 28). However, Siri’s encounter with Sarasti examining the “tortured faces” (337) as “Statistics” (337), and the fact that this “Software customizes output for the user” (338) speaks volumes to how vampires view the human world they inhabit.

It has already been stated that Sarasti is “off in his own little world” (60), but I never would have thought he would view statistics in the form of agonized human faces. To be able to view the pain of others as a tool for analyzing data is a highly un-sentient quality. To even try to comprehend the inner-workings of a mind dependent on this type of observation could be considered, for a sentient being, an unwholesome or even emotionally painful re-wiring of the parts of the brain responsible for producing empathy. Yet for Sarasti, analyzing in this manner is a mundane experience. An experience based purely on observation. An experience completely void of empathy.

Siri’s encounter with Sarasti’s method for analyzing statistics is an ironic piece of the puzzle that is the narrative of Blindsight. It is ironic in the sense that Sarasti is impartially collecting data just as Siri has done throughout the narrative. Both are essentially emotionless conduits for information, assigned to this mission for humanity’s benefit. Yet, it is the least human of the pair, Sarasti, who initiates the re-energizing of Siri’s long dormant humanity. This fact goes a long way in illustrating just how far from grace humanity has fallen in the year 2082. In the world of Blindsight, the emotionally unconscious undead shepherd the living toward sentience.


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