The Temperley Suite

A Man Who Had No Eyes

Story Outline and Sudy Questions


Jessica Temperley
May 5, 1999

A Man Who Had No Eyes

Story Outline and Study Questions

Story Outline

Title: A Man Who Had No Eyes

Author: MacKinley Kantor

Main Character: Mr. Parsons is the main character. He is in his early forty's (more or less) and is a very respected, successful business man. He sells insurance. He is blind, but you can't tell. He isn't bitter about being blind, he's just proud of his success.

Minor Character: Markwardt is a minor character. he is a blind beggar that's sort of chubby, wears greasy clothes, and had a black sack slung over his shoulder. He sells cigarette lighters and tells people how he lost his vision for money. His story about losing his vision is the other way around, he just tells it dishonestly so that people will feel pity and give him money.

Setting: The story is set in New York on a nice Spring day. The two men converse outside of the hotel Mr. Parsons was staying at. The men talk outside on the sidewalk.

Conflict: As Markwardt begins telling his story, Mr. Parsons notices something familiar yet untrue about it...

Plot Summary:

1. On a nice Spring day in New York, Mr. Parsons walks out of a hotel and is approached by a blind beggar.

2. The beggar wants to sell Mr. parsons a cigarette lighter. Even though Mr. Parsons doesn't smoke, he buys one to give as a gift.

3. Mr. Parsons asks the beggar how he lost his vision and so the beggar begins his story.

4. Markwardt says that he was in the C shop explosion. He says he was trying to escape, but a bigger man pulled him back and got in front of him.

5. Markwardt expects pity money, but Mr. parsons says the story is a lie.

6. Mr. Parsons says that Markwardt (the beggar) pulled him back and climbed over Mr. Parsons. Mr. Parsons was the one left in all the toxic gases.

7. Mr. Parsons informs Markwardt that he too was blinded in the explosion and Markwardt is shocked.

Climax: Markwardt says that a bigger man pulled him back to climb over him and escape. Mr. Parsons says to Markwardt that it's the other way around...

Conclusion: Mr. Parsons confronts Markwardt of lying and Mr. Parsons reveals that he is also blind.

Response: This was a nice story that described irony very well. It was ironic that Mr. Parsons was blinded too and that he was also in the C shop explosion.

Study Questions

1. How did Mr. Parsons and Markwardt meet?

Mr. Parsons met on a nice Spring day outside of a hotel. Mr. Parsons left the hotel and Markwardt approached him wanting to sell a cigarette lighter.

2. How could you tell Mr. Parsons was blind before he revealed it at the end of the story?

Mr. Parsons had to press the cigarette lighter money into Markwardt's hand. Mr. Parsons' was a small clue, but they were in fashion so it wasn't too obvious.

3. What did Mr. Parsons look like?

Mr. parsons wore a spotless gray suit, a matching gray hat, and a fashionable black malacca stick.

4. What did Markwardt look like?

Markwardt was kind of chubby, he wore a greasy jacket and a black sack full of cigarette lighters slung over his shoulder.

5. What are the differences between Markwardt and Mr. Parsons? (name three)

Mr. Parsons' clothes were clean and spotless, while Markwardt's clothes were greasy and dirty. Mr. Parsons used educated language (correct language, etc.) and Markwardt used uneducated language (incorrect grammar, etc.). Also, Mr. Parsons wasn't bitter about losing his vision, Markwardt on the other hand, blamed the loss of his sight on the government and was quite bitter about it.

6. What was ironic in this story?

It was ironic that, after 14 years, Mr. Parsons and Markwardt met up again. The most ironic thing was Mr. Parsons was blind too.

7. Who was dishonest, how could you tell?

Mr. Parsons was very honest. Markwardt was the dishonest one. He changed his story around to make people feel pity for him so that they'd give him money. It was a good thing Mr. Parsons caught him lying so that he could be set straight.

8. What did Markwardt say that was a lie?

Markwardt claimed that while he was trying to escape the explosion, a bigger man pulled him back to get in front of him and left him there in the toxic gases. This was not true, Markwardt was bigger than Parsons. Markwardt had pulled Parsons back to get in front and had left Parsons on the floor with all the toxic gases.


End of Story Outline and Study Questions
for A Man Who Had No Eyes.

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