1. This essay implies to the reader that loneliness isn’t always a vile thing. The author compares somebody who has absolutely nothing in life but enjoys the solitude, to people who roam through life alone, seeking for company—but never find it. The author compares the chosen lifestyle of the box man, to the undesired for loneliness of the victims. The author explains that although one may be poor and alone, it does not mean that one is unhappy. For example, in paragraph 12 it is explained that the mayor has offered him help, but the box man pushes it away. In paragraph 18 it is described how the box man enjoys his dark life. It is portrayed that life is a solo journey and that one may be much more miserable by going through life accompanied than by being a collector of boxes.
2. A subordinate idea that contributes to the main idea is the way the author brought up memories from her own past, The Boxcar Children. These children were, like the Box Man, approaching their loneliness in a positive manner, which is something the author seemed to agree with. The other character, which suffered from a different type of loneliness, was a woman in a coffee shop, she dwelled through her loneliness. She had no peers in her life, and spent most of her time dragging on a coffee at the coffee shop, just to be surrounded by people.
Purpose and Audience
1. Barbara Lazear Ascher wrote this essay to help audiences see the difference between chosen and unchosen loneliness. With a numerous amount of examples she shows the reader the difference between someone who willingly chooses to live life alone, and people who find themselves lonely and dwell about it.
2. The author hoped that readers would understand the differences, and learn that life is not all about being surrounded by peers. The author hoped that by reading this essay, people realized that one enters life alone and leaves life alone.(last paragraph)
3. As mentioned in the last paragraph, the