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Analysis of Pico Lyer's short story "Nowhere Man".

By drowningsena May 31, 2003 498 Words
"Nowhere Man" by Pico Lyer hits the target in exposing the emptiness that looms our generation. The meaninglessness threatens to swallow us all like a black hole. Lyer includes himself as being part of this new generation and gives his generation the term "transit loungers." Likewise, I identify myself as a transit lounger. In Lyer's essay, his term transit lounger refers literally to himself and others like him; they have the so-called privilege of living in an "interconnected and multicultural" world. I define a transit lounger as person who has lost herself or himself by becoming professional spectator of their fate, life and world. But whether they like to admit it or not, he or she clings onto the innate human need to belong and establish a connection with humanity.

Such a person is under the spell of the old belief that "variety is key," and with it will come freedom. The danger of seeking this freedom is the inability of our roots to stretch out to cover the whole wide world; like all roots, it is rather fragile and limited to a small portion of land. Expanding this root to cover the vast world that we, transit loungers, travel could quite possibly put it to self-destruction mode and fall off. This root is essential for humans; we feed off of it our passions and humanly bonds. There are other dangers as well, with our world becoming so "interconnected" and traveling made to be so effortless, it is easy for transit loungers become arrogant, believing that we have we have exposed the smallness of the world and brought it to our mercy. There is a spring of excitement and wonderment, and transit loungers have overfilled it; the overflowing residue eats away at our souls. Such individuals typically inhabit places behind a glass window, most likely behind the window of an airplane. They have brought a ticket to a seemingly never-ending airplane ride for the high cost of their 'roots'.

Nevertheless with so many of us turning into transit loungers, there are advantages to becoming one. Where transit loungers lack the passion and excitement of life, they can also escape the sadness. Also, there is always the lure of freedom. Even though such freedom comes with strings attached, with this freedom, transit loungers can travel vast and far, not just physically but psychologically. We can see the world from different perspectives; we can literally be in another person's shoes. Being a transit lounger can be turned into an advantage, we can explore the many facets of life and discover our true passions. We can form bonds with those who we really love, not just with people we were stuck with. We can make home a strange land we fall in love with. At the end it would be difficult to jump off the plane of the transit loungers. But if we take the chance, we could live life even more fully and passionately than those who never got into the plane.

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