The Box Man By Barbara Lazear Essay
“The Box Man” is a story about Barbara Lazear Ascher’s encounter with a homeless man. After helping him retrieve a box from an unguarded building, she witnessed him building his “home” in someone’s doorway. His state of seclusion reminded her of two other woman. The first woman was a regular of the coffee shop. She came by every day, but one could tell she had no fond memories from her vacant expression. She was a ghost in a sense, forgotten by everyone. The second woman lived across the street and watch TV all night long. The only company this lady had were her cats. The Box Man, however, was different. As he opened up his newspaper in his makeshift home, there was no sign of depression or yearning for companionship.
Ascher compared the Box Man to the other women in order to point out that sometimes, loneliness is chosen. A prime example was when the Box Man rejected the mayor’s help and walked away from those who tried to interact with him. It was also evident that the Box Man was completely satisfied and comfortable with his lifestyle. Instead of living a life of depression and boredom, he embraced his solitude. He was rejuvenated by independence and was not restrained by bonds with other people. Perhaps this is why Ascher mentioned the Boxcar Children in her essay. She tried to emphasize why while many are trapped by their loneliness, the Box Man was set free through it. Even though he was in a tough financial situation, he had it better than others.