Is Eli Blind or Can He Just Read Braille?

The book of Eli, released in 2010, is one of the best films based on the blind protagonist. It is a film based on the post-apocalyptic genre, where Eli, a lone warrior, marches towards ruined landscapes on the west coast to deliver the last copy of the Bible that could be the last hope for the redemption of humanity.

Years after its release, people still discuss whether Eli is blind or he can just read the braille lipi (which can only be read by blind people). This article will provide a few points that may prove that Eli is blind in The Book of Eli movie

Was Danzel Blind in the Book of Eli?

Although blind does not mean being completely blind, it could mean that the person is partially or fully blind. So, all our theories could prove that he is blind (he could be partial or complete blind) since his severity of blindness has never been addressed in the film.

Here are a few incidents from the movie that may provide evidence that Eli is blind in the whole film:

Eli can read braille lipi

One of the most blatant signs that Eli is blind is that he can read the Bible written in braille lipi. Only a blind person can read the braille lipi.

He always treks during the day in the sunset (west) direction. 

Eli always walks during the day because he wanted to go west and used to walk in that direction where the sun sets (in the west). He shoots the cat to eat it immediately after hearing the meow; up until that point, he was oblivious of the animal’s presence or position.

Eli uses his sense of touch to find ingredients.

Before cooking the cat, Eli checks the contents of a shelf by touching and sensing it. If he was not blind, he could have easily glimpsed the shelf’s contents.

He was not unaware of the iPad’s low battery warning.

After his iPod’s batteries died, he kept pressing the button since he could not see the low battery indicator. If Eli was not blind, he could figure out the low battery of the iPad by reading the sign rather than clicking its button like a crazy person to make it work.

Eli has a great sense of smell.

During his voyage towards the west, Eli encounters a girl asking for his help to repair her trolley. Eli shouts for the people to come out as he senses and smells their body odor to figure out there are more people around. It demonstrates that he is blind since his sense of smell is keen. It happens with blind people because they learn to pay more attention to information using their other senses.

He checks the flame of the lighter by moving his hand over it.

When Eli gives the cigarette lighter to the shopkeeper in return for his iPod batteries, he examines it by moving his hand over the flames to check if it works. Since he is blind, he cannot test the cigarette lighter without feeling its flames.

Eli could not understand Solara’s purpose.

During his stay at Carnegie’s place, Solara comes in a dress for solicitation to seduce and entertain Eli and says you do not have to pay for anything. Eli perplexingly asks, “pay for what,” because he could not see her dress to understand her intentions.

Eli has a sharp sense of hearing.

When Carnegie and his men start shooting at Eli for not giving them the Bible, Eli only shoots when someone shoots at him and shoots accurately at that person who shoots him first by using his sense of hearing. He accidentally shoots Carnegie because he sensed someone running in that direction.

He did not read the trespassing warning.

When Eli and Solara reach the old cannibal couple’s house, they ask him about the no trespassing sign, to which he replies, Oh, I must not have seen it. If Eli could read, he would have noticed the warning and never entered the house.

He kicks the stair before taking another step.

During his stay at Carnegie’s place, Solara comes in a dress for solicitation to seduce and entertain Eli and says you do not have to pay for anything. Eli perplexingly asks, “pay for what,” because he could not see her dress to understand her intentions.

Eli narrates the novel instead of writing it.

Eli narrates the Bible to Lombardi, who wrote down the Bible because Eli could only read and write braille lipi. If he was not blind, he could have also aided Lombardi in writing down the Bible instead of just narrating it.

His eyes are cloudy or foggy.

Finally, when Eli narrates the Bible to Lombardi, the camera zooms on his eyes, and we can clearly see his eyes glazed up, tinted blue, and cloudy, which are common symptoms in blind people. 

Let us now answer some more questions about the movie that may still be unanswered questions for the movie viewers. 

How Could Eli Do All Those Things?

It might be possible that Eli might have trained himself to do all the things he did in the movie: travel, hunt, shoot, fight, etc. Or the voice of God he heard in his head may have directed him to his destination and assisted him in overcoming all the problems and obstacles he encountered while traveling to deliver the Bible to redeem humanity. In one of the scenes, he says, Eli says “I know I would not have made it this far without the help of God.”

Danzel Washington said in an interview that Eli has been traveling for 30 years and has met multiple people. During his long journey, he may have met good and bad people who aided him in becoming a skillful fighter, hunter, and person who can interact, observe, and do everything like a person with eyesight.

Does Eli Survive in the Book of Eli?

After getting shot by Carnegie, Eli dies due to the infection caused by the bullet wound. But before he died, he successfully narrated the Bible to Lombardi, who wrote it down to help humanity understand its meaning. After Eli’s demise, a printing press printed copies of the Bible’s narrated version by Eli, and Lombardi placed the first printed version on a bookshelf between the two holy books: Tanakh and Quran. Solara chooses to return home and takes up Eli’s machete and other possessions. She puts the earphones in her ear and begins her journey toward home.

Why Did People Look at Each Other’s Hands in the Book of Eli?

In The Book of Eli, people check each other’s hands to see if the other person is a cannibal (a human who eats another human) or not by checking if their hands are shaking or not. In the movie, due to a shortage of food and other supplies, people start killing and eating each other and get affected with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a disease caused by eating the meat of an infected human. So, in a place where CJD is a common disease, a shaky hand is a common symptom or side-effect among people suffering from it, and by checking their hands, you can easily find out about their nature (cannibal or not) and save yourself from them.