The pyramid would be set up in different orders for the box man, the two ladies, and for Ascher. In reference to the box man and Ascher, the order would go physiological, esteem, self-actualization, safety, and love/belonging. Love/belonging would go last because the box man has chosen solitude as a way of life.
Love/belonging would also go last for Ascher because she wants to “find solace” and “a friend in [her] own voice” (20). They both don’t mind being alone; therefore, love/belonging would be the lowest priority for them.On the other hand, the two ladies described in “The Box Man” would have a totally different order. Theirs would go physiological, love/belonging, esteem, self-actualization, and safety.
Love/belonging is a priority because they want to feel apart of society. They are known as “the lonely ones”: the ones who “drag [things] out as long as possible”, the ones “whose lights and television stay on all night” (13 & 17). They find themselves in unchosen solitude, and all they want to do is escape it.
Essay practice:Solitude is a way of life. In “The Box Man”, by Barbara Lazear Ascher, the protagonist affirms that a life of solitude does not always have to be lonely. Though he is a homeless man, he still lives an honorable life. Through describing the Box Man as “dignified” and having “a life of the mind” and the two women as “the lonely ones”, Ascher contrasts the lifestyles of chosen and unchosen solitude through her passionate tone.The Box Man is confronted with solitude everyday. However, he has accepted it and has made this his lifestyle. Ascher declares that the Box Man knows that life “is a solo voyage” (19).
The Box Man doesn’t let solitude dictate the way he lives his life. He welcomes it and “shuffle[s] away” from people who try and help him (18). The Box Man’s chosen solitude is highlighted by his “grand design” (5). The Box Man is able to make a place to live, out of boxes. Choosing solitude, making something out of nothing, avoiding help from others, the Box Man enjoys an isolated life. However, chosen solitude isn’t a lifestyle fit for everyone.Unchosen solitude is another way of life, but not this is the type that people want to desert.
Unchosen solitude is lacking self-esteem. Self esteem is needed to feel accepted in society. Society is filled with social isolation. The lady at the “local coffee shop” doesn’t want to feel alone (13).
Ascher emphasizes this by incorporating a long sentence to fulfill the effect of “dragg[ing] it out as long as possible” (13). The lady has lost all the “memories” of the pleasant times in her life (13). She is expressionless, she is empty, she is alone. There is another lady who exhibits these same characteristics; the lady “whose lights and television stay on all night” (17).
This woman does not want to live her life this way, always trying to make it look like she has company. People should not be judged for being secluded from humanity.Life has a way of taking people on unwanted paths and through challenging situations. However, it is up to that person, whether they want to persevere or let that situation dictate the rest of their life. The Box Man resembles the person who will persevere.
He is faced with being homeless, but he makes the best out of his situation. He builds a form of shelter, and most importantly, he makes solitude his lifestyle. On the other hand, the two ladies represent the people who will give up. They were faced with solitude and they did not want to accept it. Ironically, the homeless man is content with his situation, and the two ladies are still trying to escape their solitude.Ultimately, the way people live their life is solely up to them.
Whether it be acknowledging a difficult situation and conquering it, staying passionate throughout the whole journey, or letting that one moment command how they live, the decision is up to them. Not everyone will have the same choice, however, in the end, those who take control of their own life will be more successful.