Study Guide

Blind Benny in Belle Prater's Boy

By Ruth White

Blind Benny

Blind Benny has lived a tough life. People have shunned him forever because of his blindness and his empty eye sockets, and he can only come out at night because he doesn't want to be harassed. But despite all of the difficulties that he's faced, Blind Benny is a kind, gentle man. He remains optimistic and is genuinely thankful for the good things he has in life.

When Gypsy finally gets to meet him and starts talking to Benny, she learns that he had a connection to her father. In fact, Amos made sure that Benny was taken care of:

"When Amos died, Love sold the store, but she put it in legal writin' that Blind Benny would always have a room at the hardware. 'Cause Amos promised. Nobody objected to that, and the new owners have been kind to me, too. I'm a lucky man." (21.42)

When she learns of her parents' kindness towards Blind Benny, Gypsy realizes that she has to follow their example. She should stop judging people before she gets to know them, and instead should be kind and loving like Blind Benny. Plus, angry though she may be with her father, recognizing his capacity for kindness helps her see him in a more complex light. He may have left her, but there was still plenty of good to him, and coming to see this helps Gypsy forgive Amos and move on with her life.

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