In Ruskin Bond's story "The eyes are not here," what is the meaning of the short paragraph that begins "Well, it often happens that people with good eyesight fail to see what is right in front of them"?
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In Ruskin Bond's story "The eyes are not here," one of the most important sentences, in retrospect, is the following:
Well, it often happens that people with good eyesight fail to see what is right in front of them.
This sentence is important to the rest of the story for a number of reasons, including these:
- It implies that perception will be an important theme in this story.
- It implies that failure to perceive clearly or properly will also be a key theme of the story.
- It makes a distinction between those who can see clearly and those who cannot, whereas by the end of the story we realize that every character in the tale displays limited perception.
- It is a joke at the expense of the reader, who does not perceive the full meaning of the story -- or the full implications of this sentence -- until the very end of the work.
- It is a joke at the expense of the narrator, who discovers at the end of the work that his own perceptions have been flawed in ways he never even suspected.
- The rest of the brief paragraph seems particularly ironic at the expense of the narrator, who considers himself a perceptive, thoughtful, witty, and clever person but whose failures of perception are perhaps worse than those of anyone else in the story (with the possible exception of the reader).
- It displays the wittiness and cleverness of the author in presenting a narrator who thinks he is witty and clever when in fact his wit and cleverness are fairly limited.
- It implies the importance that assumptions play in controlling our perceptions. Here the blind narrator assumes that he is in some ways more perceptive than people with sight, when in fact he is far less perceptive than he thinks he is.
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