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explain the followingWho is to say that the Box Man does not feel as Thoreau did in his...

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bluemoon18 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted August 18, 2011 at 7:43 PM via web

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explain the following

Who is to say that the Box Man does not feel as Thoreau did in his doorway, not “crowded or confined in the least,” with “pasture enough for […] imagination.” Who is to say that his dawns don’t bring back heroic ages? That he doesn’t imagine a goddess trailing her garments across his blistered legs?

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jcshakespeare | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 18, 2011 at 11:57 PM (Answer #1)

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My take on this passage is that the author is questioning the common assumption that if a person is homeless, something beyond that person's control has forced the condition of homelessness upon them. The author seems to be suggesting that perhaps living in a box is a conscious choice, and perhaps even a heroic choice. Why?

Well, Thoreau simplified his external life to the bare minimum in order to enrich and deepen his inner life. Unencumbered by the possessions and material attachments with which most people load themselves up, Thoreau, and by extension the Box Man, have the contemplative capacity to allow their imaginations, their spirits, free rein in this inner "pasture."

So to the busy passers-by on the Tokyo streets, the Box Man is a tragic figure. This author suggests, however, that perhaps the inner world of the Box Man is rich and vibrant, filled with a freedom that most of us will never know.

In simpler terms, the author seems to say, don't judge a book by its cover, or a man by his Box.

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