Box Man

Topics: Thought, New York City Subway Pages: 3 (801 words) Published: January 9, 2014
Box Man answers

1. Meaning
Ascher states her main idea towards the end of the essay. – The Box Man chooses solitude, and he also confirms the essential aloneness of human being. She also demonstres that we can “find solice” within ourselves. Ascher leads up to and supports her idea with three examples – the box man chooses loneliness, and in contrast the two women whose loneliness seems unchosen. She supports these choices with specific details from Ascher’s observations – here is where you give details. 2. Purpose and audience

Ascher seems to have written her essay for two interlocking reasons: to show and thus explain that solitude need not always be lonely and to argue gently for defeating loneliness by becoming one’s own friend. In choosing the Box Man as her main example, she reveals perhaps a third purpose as well – to convince readers that a homeless person can have dignity and may achieve a measure of self satisfaction lacking in some people who do have homes. Ascher seems to assume that her readers, like her are people with homes, people to whom the Box man and his life might seem completely foreign. She comments on his slow shuffle, mysterious discrimination among boxes, his blistered legs and how miserable his life looks. Building from this assumption that her readers will find the Box Man strange, Ascher takes pains to show the dignity of the Box man – his grand design for furniture, his resemblance to commuters, his grandmotherly finger lings and his refusal for handouts. Ascher also assumes some familiarity with literature – and she chooses female figures to illustrate this – all outcasts of society. Finally, Ascher seems to address people who are familiar with, if not actually residents of, New York cite: she refers to a New York street address, a New York subway line (IRT), and the Daily News- a NY paper. However readers that do not know the literature Archer cites, who do not know NYC are still likey to understand and...
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