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The Bound Man Term Paper

The Bound Man Term Paper


A person cannot live in isolation from the society. In the meantime, while living within the society and interacting with its members, one cannot avoid exposing oneself to the conflicts that take an integral part of social contacts. This aspect can be clearly seen in the short story The Bound Man written by Ilse Aichinger. In this short story, the main character is the bound man who comes into an almost permanent conflict with the society. In his social environment, he seems to be a stranger to everyone as the society cannot understand his philosophy and the motives of his actions.

It is possible to say that this short story’s main character is a stranger in the society where he lives. Meanwhile, he does not want to become a part of this world. It can be seen in the part where he wakes up and, seeing the sunlight, shuts his eyes again. Normally, a person would enjoy seeing the sun in the beginning of a new day. But in this case, the main character does not have any positive emotions about this fact.



It is noteworthy that the author’s descriptions demonstrate that it is almost impossible to avoid conflict between an individual and the society and, therefore, one has to be ready to face it. In the meantime, other characters of the story do not have such major conflicts. After reading The Bound Man, the reader can make a conclusion that some individuals are more prone to conflict with the society, while the majority of people prefer having harmonic relationships with others. It means that most people, unlike the story’s main character, adopt some strategies to avoid conflicts or make them less impactful. There are people who are called conformists. These people find ways to adapt to the social norms and follow social principles in order to prevent conflicts and be the part of the society.

Therefore, it is possible to say that the bound man and the society have a different kind of conflict – the one that manifests the basic principle of social interaction. The main character is completely different from others, and this difference makes him rejected by the society. He is a stranger to others and does not even want to get closer to them. He likes to be on his own and wants to break free from the social limits. He feels as if he were tied by social norms, like with a rope. He does not want to accept these norms and to follow them.

It is important to note that the comparison of social norms and a rope is very symbolic. It can be seen as a symbol of the bound man himself, as well as of the limitations imposed by the society. Moreover, the conflict between the society and the bound man occurs exactly through this rope.


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