The Eyes Are Not Here” [also known as “The Girl on the Train” and “The Eyes Have It”] is a short story by Ruskin Bond, an Indian writer. The story exudes irony. The story uses first person point of view. Not far into the story, the reader discovers that the narrator is blind but apparently has not always been. Riding on a train and sitting in a compartment provides the setting of the story.
This story is an excellent example of situational irony which employs a plot device in which events turn out contrary to expectation yet are contrarily appropriate. Further use of irony involves verbal irony when a character says one thing but means another.
The narrator listens as a couple sends their daughter off on the train to visit an aunt. Initiating the conversation, the narrator becomes intrigued by the girl’s voice. She is quite surprised to find someone else in the compartment.
Hoping to keep her from realizing that he is blind, he describes the scenery from his memories. He asks the girl a question, and she tells him to look out the window for himself.
To continue the ruse, the narrator tells the girl that she has an interesting face. She remarks that people normally tell her that she has a pretty face. Her trip is short, so soon she gathers her things and bids good-bye to the blind man. One thing that he remembered after she left was her perfume.
You may break, you may shatter the vase if you will, but the scent of the roses will linger there still…
A man coming into the berth runs into the girl. The blind man decides to play a game with this new train companion. Pretending to be observing the scenery, the blind man stays silent. Finally, the other man comments that the narrator must be disappointed that the new fellow traveler is not as nice looking as the girl. Remarking that she was interesting, the narrator ask about the girl’s hair.
Finally, the cat is out of the bag:
‘I don’t remember,’ he said, sounding puzzled. ‘It was...
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