What Is "A Man Who Had No Eyes?"

"A Man Who Had No Eyes" is a short story written by American author MacKinlay Kantor. It tells the story of an interaction between Mr. Parsons, a prosperous insurance salesman, and a blind beggar who approaches him on the street.

The story begins with Mr. Parsons leaving his hotel, where he is noticed by a blind man with a disheveled appearance. The blind man begins trying to sell Mr. Parsons a lighter, claiming it's the best lighter ever made. Eventually, Mr. Parsons agrees to purchase the lighter. The two men continue talking, and the blind man relays the story of how he became blind, explaining that he was in an chemical explosion at a workshop 14 years ago. The beggar finishes his story with the declaration that a fellow worker prevented him from escaping the catastrophe by pulling him back and crawling over his body; he claims this worker is responsible for his blindness in an attempt to get more money from Mr. Parsons.

At the end of the beggar's story, Mr. Parsons reveals that he was also in the accident and was in fact the person who was pulled back into the workshop. After calling the beggar by name, Mr. Parsons listens to the beggar's angry diatribe before explaining that the accident also left him blind.