Tangerine Questions and Answers
by Edward Bloor

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How did Paul actually lose his eyesight in Tangerine?

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Paul Fisher is the main character and narrator in Edward Bloor's novel TangerineHe is legally blind and wears very thick glasses. He has no peripheral vision. He believes that he was blinded by looking into an eclipse of the sun. The truth is that Erik spray painted him in the eyes when Paul was four or five years old. This is just one of many cruel things that Erik does to others. He is both physically and verbally abusive. 

When it is revealed that Erik is responsible for Paul's poor eyesight, Paul's parents explain that they didn't tell him the truth because they didn't want him to hate his brother. Paul's response to this is that instead of hating Erik, he ended up hating himself. He believed he had done something stupid and he was an example to others as a person who doesn't listen to the common sense warnings of childhood. Paul's eye injury causes him a lot of problems, including social isolation (he is called Mars) and not being allowed to play soccer at Lake Windsor Downs Middle School (his eyesight makes him an insurance liability). It is interesting to note that despite Paul's disability, he sees the truth about Erik that his parents do not. He says:

"But I can see. I can see everything. I see things that Mom and Dad can't. Or won't."

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