Full summary of the story a Man Who Had No Eyes by Mackinlay Kantor in English Language.
The story ‘A Man Who Had No Eyes’ tells us that a man can rise above his circumstances by dint of firm determination, will-power and assiduous work. Mr. Parsons and Markwardt were the two victims of a chemical explosion that had occurred 14 years before in Westbury. By chance they ran into each other one day. But they couldn’t recognize each other. They had survived a common disaster. They had lost their eyes in the explosion. However, they were totally different from each other. Mr. Parsons had risen above his handicap and become a successful and respected person. On the other hand, Markwardt, lamented his physical handicap, cursed his fate and exploited his blindness to excite others pity and lived on charity. Hence, it is one’s outlook on life that matters.
Meeting of two victims of chemical explosion
Two victims of a chemical explosion met after 14 years. They had lost their eyesight. The explosion had occurred in Westbury factory. It was one of the greatest disasters during the World War. One hundred and eight people were killed, about 200 injured and over fifty of them lost their eyes.
Mr. Parsons and a blind beggar
Mr. Parsons and Markwardt were the two victims of Westbury chemical explosion. Mr. Parsons was very glad to be alive. He was now a successful and respectable man. He sold insurance policies. He was standing in front of his hotel. He heard the footsteps of a blind beggar coming to him. The man carried a bag on his shoulder. He sold cigarette lighters. He wanted to sell a lighter to Mr. Parsons who, however, did not smoke. But the beggar requested to him for help, and he paid a dollar to him. He decided to give the lighter to the lift boy.
The story of losing the eyes
Mr. Parsons enquired of him about his blindness. The man told the story in detail to win sympathy. He reported how he lost his eyesight in a chemical explosion 14 years ago. Had he lost his eyes in war, he would have been well taken care of. But the accident in the factory made him a beggar. Those, who were insured, got money. It was there in C shop that he met with the accident. While he was trying to run out, a person behind him grabbed his leg. He was stronger and bigger than him. He climbed over him and escaped, and he lay there with all that poison gas pouring down on all sides of him. While narrating his woeful tail, the blind man pretended to suppress his sob.
True account of the story
Mr. Parsons did not agree with him. He said that the story was true but the other way round. It was the beggar who had pulled Mr. Parsons’ back and climbed over him. Mr. Parsons gave out his name also; Markwardt.
The blindman exposed
The beggar could not deny these facts. He thought that Mr. Parsons had died. Anyway he was blind now while Mr. Parsons stood there laughing at him. He started shouting that he was blind. People in the street turned to watch the scene. Parsons advised him not to shout because he too was blind like him. But it was not a curse to be blind. It was a question of the outlook about life.