Analysis Of The Box Man By Barbara Lazear Ascher

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In 1986, after the feminist movement began to lose steam, Barbara Lazear Ascher published “The Box Man” to nurture the idea that all women can act for themselves. The beliefs that everyone had a soul mate and that solitude meant loneliness pervaded the women society in America. Instead, Ascher presents herself as a woman who can choose who she will be and who can find happiness without guidance. By weaving the concept that women can choose who they will be into the vivid, heroic imagery of the Box Man, she blooms the idea that women who over-fantasize and over-romanticize life are missing true happiness. Although Ascher identifies herself as one of these women, she boldly molds her view's validity in others’ minds. By showing how admirable …show more content…

Women can either choose who to be or be made into someone described by viewing Box Man beside lonely women. Ascher begins this essay by using a detailed play-by-play of what she saw to make others imagine the event as if they were in her place. This technique establishes a common understanding of the Box Man and implants a different view than the quickly assumed view that the Box Man is a lonely person. The Box Man sees the boxes “[j]ust inside the entrance” (Ascher paragraph 1) and realizes their worth to him. She also sees worth in the boxes; however, Ascher does not understand what the worth of the boxes is to the Box Man. Ascher uses words like “willed” (paragraph 1) and “unselfconsciously” (paragraph 3) to display admiration for the Box Man and to display desire to see through the Box Man’s eyes. By setting up her feelings in this way, Ascher instills in her audience those feelings and a need to satisfy curiosity. Her admiration of the Box Man comes from feelings of similarity and a wish to learn what she feels she should know, but what she can only find out by …show more content…

By establishing what a lonely person is before showing the Box Man’s qualities, a concealed opposition is created. This is done to highlight better how the Box Man is not a lonely person. After explaining his character, Ascher emphasizes that the Box Man does not care for the normal things by starting each sentence with “[n]ot for him” (paragraph 17). By using incomplete thought in this backward fashion, more emphasis is put on how the Box Man does not want or need these things. Also, Ascher uses this technique to show that “a P.O. number” (paragraph 17) and the other small things do not mend a fragmented life. Finally, Ascher reveals what “[t]he Box Man knows” (paragraph 18) after exhibiting how the Box Man is a content, yet solitary person. It is ironic that throughout this essay, Ascher has emphasized that the Box Man is heroic when everyone else sees him simply as homeless. However, the Box Man’s heroism is clearly displayed when she reveals the idea that the Box Man lives by and that she has weaved into her argument; “[L]oneliness chosen loses its sting and claims no victims” (Ascher paragraph 18). She consolidates her argument by showing that many, including herself, are currently hopeless romantics like Anna, Ophelia, Emma, and Juliet from various love stories. However, she emphasizes that instead of weeping for themselves, they should stand up and do something about it. Ascher does this to apply her idea, that accepting

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