1. In The Man Who Had No Eyes, MacKinlay Kantor delivers through characters, symbolism, and plot, that when life gives one lemons, make lemonade.
2. Through the characters exemplified in The Man Who Had No Eyes, MacKinlay Kantor delivers the theme that one needs to move on from the past, as self-pity destroys all.
3&4. It doesn’t take long in the story for us to realize who the homeric pattern will almost perfectly replicate. One of Markwardt’s first actions as the beggar he is to display his arete. He displays his virtues as a beggar through asking Parsons if he “wouldn’t mind helping a poor guy out” while at the same time offering him a cheap cigarette lighter which Markwardt claims is ...view middle of the document...
If there is one thing we can take away from the Homeric analysis of Markwardt, its that when self-pity finds you, don’t let it consume you.
5. All the symbols in The Man Who Had No Eyes are there to deliver the main theme, that one should move on from the past, and don’t have self-pity about it.
6&7. The Man Who Had No Eyes is a great example of an almost-didactic allegory. While nearly everything in the story is symbolic, it doesn’t quite hit the mark of truly everything. Our first symbol is Mr. Parsons. Parsons is a symbol of moving on, be it figuratively or literally. He uses a walking stick, much like any sighted person would use. In the beginning, he is leaving “his” hotel, implying that he has enough money to have a hotel room, or even maybe own the hotel itself! He speaks in perfect grammar. He sells insurance, which is itself a symbol for looking out for someone else, and he is otherwise happy to be alive and successful. We are then introduced to Markwardt, who symbolizes the self-pity in the world. He doesn’t have a walking cane, no he has a “traditional battered cane”, one that a poor blind man might get from the free clinic. The cane “thumps his way” around, making noise, and calling attention that Markwardt virtually feeds off of. His coat is “greasy about the lapels and pockets”. Instead of being a legitimate business man like Parsons is, Markwardt is sleazy and a liar, claiming to sell “the best cigarette lighter ever made” for only a dollar. Even the cigarette lighter is a symbol, as the lighter could have easily caused the explosion he was blinded in. It shows that Markwardt continues to wallow in the sorrows of his past and profit off of them. He is a personification of what self-pity consuming a person would be. As the two heavy contrasts talk to each other, it becomes apparent that there is another major symbol. The crowd that gathers around to watch symbolizes us, the reader. We are spectators to his moment of his realization. Through the symbols that are presented in The Man With No Eyes, its obvious we want to live a life like Parsons does, free from self-pity and depression. In order to do this, we must be able to deal with the cards dealt to us, and make use of them.
8. The plot in The Man Who Had No Eyes only exists as a vehicle for the theme, that when you are dealt a bad hand, make the best of it.
9&10. When we begin the story, we find two protagonists. Initially, it is not clear what internal or external conflicts are there, if any. But, lo and behold, do they rear their ugly heads. Parson’s internal and external conflict, though later shared, find itself in the first few paragraphs. The internal conflict: Can Parsons overcome his self-pity? Yes, as usually a man wallowing in his own emotional filth doesn’t think he was, “glad to be alive”, or that he was thought to be, “successful, respected, admired,”. And his external conflict, Can Parsons move on after the accident, is resolved successfully from these statements....