1 - Box Man introduction. 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
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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 appreciate Ascher’s main point.
3. Method and Structure –
Ascher’s primary support for her idea consist of three examples – specific instances of solitary people. It allows her to show contrasting responses to solitude: one person who seems to choose it and two people who don’t. She develops the examples with description vividly portraying the Box Man and the two women. (cite here) Ascher uses division or analysis to take apart the elements of her three character’s lives, and she relies on comparison and contrast to show the differences between the Box Man the other two – (cite examples ) While using many methods to develop her idea, Ascher keeps her organization fairly simple. She doesn’t not begin with a formal introduction or thesis statement but instead starts right off with her main examples, the inspiration for her idea. In the first seven paragraphs she narrates and describes the Box man’s activities. Then she explains what appeals to her about circumstances like the Box man’s and she applies those thought to what she imagines are his thought. Ascher contrasts the Box man and two other solitary people, whose lives she sees as different form his. Finally she returns to the Box Man and zeroes in on her main ides.
Ascher uses specific language to portray her three examples – she shows them to us – and lets us know what she thinks about them. For instance, the language changes for the depiction of the Box Man to the next to the last paragraph on solitude. “The Box Man comes to life in warms terms: (show examples) Ascher watches him with “silent fervor” he seems “dogged by luck” he sits with “slow care” he open the newspaper with “ease” In contrast, isolation comes across as a desperate state: “bland stares,” “strangers” “exile” .The contrast in language helps to emphasize Ascher point about the individuals ability to find comfort in solitude.
In describing the two other solitary people who evidently have not found comfort in aloneness – Ascher uses words that emphasize the heaviness of time and the sterility of existence. The first woman “drags” her meals out and crumbles crackers between “dry fingers”. She lacks even the trinkets of attachment – a gold charm bracelet with picture of grandchildren. The wife with “her hair in a gray page boy,” the three blond daughters” – emphasizes the probable absence of such scenes in the woman’s own life. Ascher occasionally uses incomplete sentences or fragments to stress the accumulation of details or the quickness of her impressions. Paragraph 10 and 18 (cite examples from them) both of these incomplete sentences gain emphases for Parallelism, the use of similar grammatical for ideas of equal importance. Although incomplete sentences can be unclear, these and others in Ascher’s essay are clear and she uses them deliberately and carefully.