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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?

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He is blind. It's not totally obvious for most of the film. –  user11982 Jan 21 '13 at 14:44
At the end, the woman who has become blind can apparently read braille, so he is not the last –  SSumner Jan 21 '13 at 15:16
@SSumner Not the last human, but perhaps the last man. –  Xantec Jan 21 '13 at 15:59
The spoiler tags in the question are a little pointless, given the title. –  Burhan Ali Jan 21 '13 at 18:59
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...). –  Meg Coates Jan 21 '13 at 20:51

6 Answers 6

up vote 45 down vote accepted

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 shot 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.
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What does an edited plane look like? –  Xantec Jan 21 '13 at 15:45
@Xantec The wings are shorter. –  Jack B Nimble Jan 21 '13 at 15:57
Plus, more leg room. –  Zoot Jan 21 '13 at 18:00
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). –  NominSim Jan 22 '13 at 2:47
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. –  Greenstone Walker Nov 18 '13 at 20:56

In the Bible, Eli grew gradually more blind, from partial sight up to the stage of 'his eyes were set so he could not see'. I'm not sure that would happen over the brief duration of the film, but maybe he wasn't fully blind in the film, but had learnt brail in 'the world before' so as to better be able to read.

I agree all the things above could prove he had bad eyesight or possibly even be blind, but there are parts in the film that make me think he could see at least slightly, like when the motorcycle gang attacked the two travellers, granted he could hear them, but he looked around the rubble to better see, and then pinpointed the gangleader in the bar in town.

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He hid pretty good for a blind fella. –  Major Stackings Mar 4 '14 at 19:32

What about the moment he was leaving the house at the beginning, after eating the cat and feeding the mouse, when we see his eye. Then at the end his eyes are obviously white and blind.

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He is not totally blind, for the reason that when they go back in the old cannibal couple's house and ask for weapons Eli looks at the window to check the surroundings. This takes place around minute 77.

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He was partially blind, not blind. Due to the 'flash'. There are hints that he had trouble seeing, the use of the glasses throughout shows the light hurt his eyes. But if you watch again with the sole purpose to see if he is completely blind, the movie fails to show this.

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He is blind throught the whole movie. How he became blind is up for debate. He is not the last living blind person. Solara's mother tells him that she was born blind. He asks her did it happen after it during the war, which may give reason to his blindness. He walks for thirty years because that's how long it takes for him to remember the entire bible and to get its message which he tells Solara towards the end. He's blind, if you notice throughout the movie he uses his senses a lot except for tge sense of sight. Everyone where's glasses because of the glare not just him. He tells Solara that the message is to treat others better than yourself. This message rings loud and true at the end when the villain tries to get Solara's mother to read the book. She tells him, she's forgotten how which is not true. He treated her so badly, why should she do this for him?

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