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A Man Who Had No Eyes

ELA 10-1

Amy Gao

on 30 May 2014

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Transcript of A Man Who Had No Eyes

During the chemical explosion, Markwardt stepped on Mr. Parsons' to escape to safety, but in the end, he also becomes blind.

Mr. Parsons was pushed back by Markwardt during the chemical explosion, but he survived and ended up becoming more successful.

Mr. Parsons works at an Insurance company, yet he does not receive any insurance after the chemical explosion.

A Man Who Had No Eyes

Instead of living in the past and constantly making a fuss about his loss of sight, Mr. Parsons chooses to accept the tragedy, and to overcome this obstacle. The unfortunate event motivates him to become a well-educated, and respected man.

Mr. Parsons is now a successful man. Though, he does not want to boast about his successful life to the blind beggar after purchasing the cigarette lighter.

He is very humble, thoughtful, and considerate of the blind beggar's position.


Figurative Language:

Style of Writing

The story begins on a fine spring morning with the sun shining on the asphalt. However as the story unfolds, the weather gradually changes to a cold and damp windy day.

The dramatic change of weather symbolizes the mood of the story, and the connection between the two characters. At first, a warm and sunny picture of everyday spring is painted, similar to Mr. Parsons' relationship with the beggar in the beginning, as he treats the beggar like any other. Afterward, as the beggar reveals the story behind the loss of his sight, the wind picks up and the author describes a change in the weather, much like the two's relationship. In the end, the weather and the relationship between the beggar and Mr. Parsons can both be interpreted as foul.
By: Amy, Jennifer, Sophie, Stephanie

"He was a blind beggar, ... and thumbing his way before him with the cautious,

effort of the sightless.

"He was a shaggy,

“He hesitated, not wishing to be
and inquisitive.”

"...noting the
approach of the sightless man..."

"He took a step forward just as the
blind man passed him by."

The setting and mood at the beginning and end.

: “The air was rich with spring;
the sun was warm and yellowed on the asphalt.”

: “The spring wind shrilled past them, damp
and quivering.”

The battered cane and the Malacca stick represents the beggar and Mr.Parsons, which shows the difference between the two characters

The two character's personalities and attitudes

The different outcomes of the two characters, coming from one tragedy

Many uses of symbolism are present in the story. Below are a few examples:

The beggar = failure (poor, does not care about appearance, given up)

Mr. Parsons = success

Battered cane of the beggar = blind and poor

Spring and wind at end of story = mood/situation of Mr.Parsons in the story (changes as story progresses)

Explosion = obstacles and conflict in life
Mr. Parsons' note in the clack-clack approach of the beggar describes the sound of the beggar approaching, rather than the sight of the beggar coming. This foreshadows Mr. Parsons' blindness.

The text, “...struggling beneath handicaps...” notes that Mr. Parsons is suffering from a disability, foreshadowing the revelation of his blindness

The statement, ”...felt a sudden and foolish pity for all blind creatures.” foreshadows Mr. Parsons' blindness, by showing that Mr. Parsons feels slightly foolish for pitying other people who have lost their sight, when he himself is sightless as well

Plot is easy to follow and comprehend.
story is told in third person to provide detailed descriptions and give an unbiased approach to the events in the story
A few descriptive words are used to portray the two characters.
A few types of figurative language are used, mainly symbolism and foreshadowing.
MacKinlay Kantor uses a mixture of actions, thoughts, and dialogue.

Crane, Mary , Barbara Fullerton, and Amanda Joseph. SIGHTLINES 10. Toronto: Prentice Hall Canada, 2000. Print.

Russel, J.. "Why do children hide by covering their eyes?." Research Digest . N.p., 23 Oct. 2012. Web. 14 Feb. 2013. <http://bps-research-digest.blogspot.ca/2012/10/why-do-children-hide-by-covering-their.html>.
Characters Traits
Mr. Parsons
Well dressed
Well adjusted
Looked down upon
In denial
Use of Language
Character Thoughts and Behaviors
Mood and Setting
Style of Writing
Mr. Parsons

People with different outlooks can have drastically different endings, even if they experience the same life changing event. A person's outlook in life will affect the decisions they make, thus affecting the ending of their "story". When something happens, people will respond to the event differently. How they respond is a reflection of their outlook, and will affect their future.

Mr. Parsons is a very positive and ambitious man, while Markwardt is negative and bitter. After surviving the same explosion, the two have taken very different paths. Markwardt remains bitter and blames others for what happens. In contrast, Mr. Parsons works hard and becomes very successful.

Mr. Parsons has such optimistic attitudes that he accepts what has happened to him - an accident causing him to lose his sight. This acceptance results in his success in life, and he is able to move forward. He works very hard to become successful, because he does not want any difficulties to pull him back from his future, just like how the beggar pulled him back from escaping the chemical explosion.
Outlook in Life
The story is set to be in an urban area, during the time of spring. As a blind beggar is coming down the street, a gentleman named Mr. Parsons comes out of his hotel. The readers now have a picture in mind of the beggar, whose name is not yet revealed. The author also introduces Mr. Parsons, including his occupation, and an impression other people have on him.
The story is set in an urban area, during the spring season. As a blind beggar is coming down the street, a gentleman named Mr. Parsons comes out of his hotel. The readers now have a picture in mind of the beggar, whose name is not yet revealed. The author also introduces Mr. Parsons, including his occupation, and an impression other people have on him.
Initial Incident
The beggar stops Mr. Parsons and tries to sell him a cigarette lighter. They begin a conversation about how the beggar lost his sight.
Rising Action
The beggar starts telling Mr. Parsons how he was blinded in a chemical explosion in a factory. He seems to expect that this will gain him more sympathy, and therefore, more money. The beggar tells about how a man, bigger than himself, pulled him from behind and clambered over him to escape the explosion.
Mr. Parsons reveals that he too, was in the explosion, and that it was he who had been pulled back by the beggar, whose name is Markwardt. (Role reversal). Markwardt gets upset with Mr. Parsons for making a fool of him, but he also assumes that Mr. Parsons is able to see. Then, Mr. Parsons reveals that he too is blind.
Falling Action
There is no falling action or denouement in the story as the story ends on a high note at the climax. The conflict (man vs. man) is resolved.
An Explanation
The conflict between the two characters is resolved, because Mr. Parsons has already revealed the fact that he also lost his sight after the chemical explosion. However, Markwardt's own personal problems are left unresolved. Readers are left to infer for themselves the reaction of Markwardt upon learning that Mr. Parsons is also blind, and if or if not he will resolve his own problems in the future.

He is still feeling bitter about the incident that caused his sight-loss, which indicates the reason for spreading his “Story” to other people passing by.

He does not consider himself as a beggar, because of his pride. He takes pride in himself for surviving the incident, and therefore believes that he deserves more respect, as well as insurance. This is evident in the context, ""Then he added with an insane sort of pride: 'Westbury, sir, I was one of ‘em.'”

He is not well-educated, which is evident in his dialogue with the use of slang words. For example, "“I tell you guv’nor.... "I ain't no beggar, guv'nor. You bet I ain't.""

There are
reasons why he reversed the story of what happened during the chemical


This can be noted in,

And also, he was thinking that there might be more half
dollars in Mr. Parsons’ pocket.”

-To cover up the guilt
y telling the opposite of his past actions, Markwardt, knowing
what he has done is wrong, pretends to be the "victim" of the chemical
explosion, so that he can relieve his guilt.
"He was a handsome figure with his
grey suit and grey hat and Malacca stick."

to Mr. Parsons.”

" "Listen. I bet you know plenty people who smoke. Nice little present,"
the man."
The Malacca stick Mr. Parson held foreshadows that he is a sightless man.

The quote, “And, thought Mr. Parsons, he was very glad to be alive.” indicates and foreshadows that he had been involved in an incident where many lost their lives and few survived

Mr. Parsons hesitated when he is describing his occupation, "Now he was successful, respected, admired ... Insurance ..." This foreshadows the chemical explosion in which he had lost his eyesight, and how he did not receive insurance himself after the incident

Physical Blindness vs. Blindness of the Heart
Physical blindness is not as shameful as the blindness of the heart. Some people's hearts are blinded by temptations the world has presented, which have driven them to focus on the wrong things, such as money and pride. In the short story, Markwardt is a very pathetic man, whose heart has been blinded by his own selfishness. He wanted to gain money and sympathy, because he never stepped out of his past. Instead of forgiving himself for what he had done, he went down an even worse path - deceiving people who pass by the streets with his twisted 'story'.

The blindness of the heart can cause people to take advantage of others, as they hope to satisfy their own selfishness, pride, and other aspects. In particular, for people who are overpowered by their selfishness like Markwardt, their greed advances as they continue to take further advantage of other people. It may seem to have a positive initial outcome, as in the story, Marwardt trampled over Mr. Parsons during the chemical explosion to save himself. However, judging by the final results, Mr. Parsons, who was once behind Markwardt, ended up becoming a lot more successful.

"The spring wind shrilled past them, damp and quivering."

"The air was rich with spring."

"The blue air of spring, fresh from its memories of windy pools and lush shrubbery, could thrill him with eagerness."

"His words fell with the bitter and studied drama of a story often told for money."
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