Give examples of foreshadowing of Mr. Parson's blindness in "A Man Who Had No Eyes" by Mackinlay Kantor.

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The short story "A Man Who Had No Eyes" by MacKinlay Kantor tells of a businessman named Mr. Parsons who is accosted by a blind beggar as he leaves a hotel. The beggar sells Parsons a cigarette lighter, but then, hoping for more money, he tells him the...

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The short story "A Man Who Had No Eyes" by MacKinlay Kantor tells of a businessman named Mr. Parsons who is accosted by a blind beggar as he leaves a hotel. The beggar sells Parsons a cigarette lighter, but then, hoping for more money, he tells him the story of how he became blind. Along with numerous other people, he was caught in a chemical explosion at a factory. He claims that someone climbed over him and prevented him from escaping, but in fact it turns out that he was the one that climbed over Parsons and kept him from escaping, and Parsons is blind too.

Foreshadowing is a literary device in which the author gives clues in advance about what is going to happen later in the story. In "A Man Who Had No Eyes," there are several examples of foreshadowing before Parsons reveals that he was in the accident and he is also blind, but they are subtle.

First of all, while standing in front of the hotel, Parsons notices the approaching beggar not by his appearance but by the clack-clack sound of his cane as he approaches. As Parsons thinks about his good fortune in the insurance industry, he recalls that he accomplished it while "struggling beneath handicaps." His primary handicap is, of course, the handicap of blindness.

Parsons also clearly remembers the chemical explosion that happened long ago when the beggar brings it up, although he mentions that the papers haven't written about it in years, and the beggar says that everyone else has forgotten. All of these details are hints that foreshadow the revelation that Parsons was also involved in the explosion at the plant and, as a result, is as blind as the beggar.

Throughout this story, Kantor imparts a profound lesson about how someone's attitude and the choices they make impact how they recover from personal disasters.

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Every reader enjoys a twist at the end of the story.  Sometimes when that happens the reader has to re-read the story to find the bits and pieces of foreshadowing that the author gave to indicate that the ending was going to happen. This unusual endings occurs  in "A Man Who Had No Eyes" by Mackinlay Kantor. 

The story's narration comes from a third person limited omniscient point of view. The two characters in the story are Mr. Parsons, a wealthy insurance investor, and a beggar [Markwardt].

There are many differences between the two men. Mr. Parsons dresses immaculately.  His speech implies someone professional. Even though he seems to have pity for the beggar, Mr. Parsons speaks with impatience toward the other man; however, he does listen to the blind man's story with surprising interest.

Shabby and dirty--the beggar uses his walking stick to help him down the street. From years of depending on others for his sustenance, the beggar readily tells Mr. Parsons that he does not just beg because he sells lighters for his money. This is a somewhat admirable way of earning his money.  Eager to share his story, the beggar hopes for a bigger donation based on the base way that the mas was treated when he was blinded.

With a closer reading , the author did foreshadow  Mr. Parson's blindness.

1. As Mr. Parson steps out from his hotel, he is carrying a malaccca stick [a rare and valuable stick] which he too uses for his blindness. 

2. Like most people who are blind, Mr. Parson's has exceptional hearing skills.  As the beggar comes down the street, Parson's notes the sounds of the stick and knows that the man coming toward him is blind. 

3. One of the comments the narrator makes  about Mr. Parsons concerns how he became successful:

A few years ago he [Mr. Parsons] had been little more than a skilled laborer; now, he was successful, respected, admired...Insurance...And he had done it alone, unaided, struggling beneath handicaps.

4. Even though it has been fourteen years since the accident, Mr. Parsons remembers the accident quite well. He comments that it was one of the greatest disasters in his life.

Although the hints are subtle, they still lead to an understanding that Mr. Parsons is also blind. Of course, Kantor compares these two men who were blinded at the same time.  One used his handicap to prosper.  The other man sank into self pity, twisting the story of his blindness to self-serve, and then, rather than rising to the occasion, became dependent on the pity of others. 

Lesson provided; lesson learned. Take where a person finds himself and rise to the occasion.

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