What happened to the teacher Mr. Oliver in Ruskin Bond’s short story “A Face in the Dark”?
Ruskin Bond’s story ends when Mr. Oliver sees in the light of the lantern that the watchman too has no eyes, no ears, no features at all — not even the eyebrows. Then the wind blew the lamp out.
The author leaves it to the readers to imagine further. Mr. Oliver might have gone senseless after those horrible scenes he had seen. Again, one may argue that he was a man with a strong heart, since he used to walk alone through the narrow forest path and he did not faint after seeing the boy with no eyes and no ears. In that case, Mr. Oliver would start running again in the opposite direction. The readers have the freedom to think it the way they like.
It is not only about the ending, but also the essential theme of the story which the author does not clarify. Readers are caught in the middle of a riddle whether it Is just another horror story, or it has some deeper meaning referring to the psychological sphere of human beings. And this undecidedness is the characteristic feature of postmodern literature.