Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade April 2001

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The short story, "The Bound Man" by Ilse Aichinger is written in a way in which there is more then one theme. In this particular piece, the overal theme that is most obvious and most revealed is self-acceptance.

Self-aceptance is shown in many different parts of this story. The "Bound Man", showed a great deal of strengh and hope that allowed one character to encounter. The author allowed this character to share his experiences so that while reading this, we could imagine what it would be like to be bound. The character in this story had to learn to deal with the fact that he was one day bound, and then realizing that it was something that he had to learn to live with. At first, the bound man had some difficuties, where he was unable to deal with things as easily as they seemed to be when he was not bound by a rope.

The Bound man had struggled with things that he would have liked to do, but as much as he tried and hoped he had of accomplished, he realized that it was something that he was going to have to work around.

It was the bound man's strength and abilities that got him through the toughtest of days. Even though the man had realized that he was bound, he still managed to be fearless and tried to do anything that he could possibly do to get where he wanted to go, and do things that he wanted to do. "He showed no sign of fear or hurry, though he thought he was unable to move, until he discovered that the rope allowed his legs some free play and that round his body it was almost loose" (pg.487). The bound man dealt with many situations that led him to believe that being bound by a rope was not as hard as it seemed to be at the beginning. As much as he was tired or as many times as he fell or collapsed, the bound man never seemed to give up, which allowed him to do the things he wanted to no matter how hard it seemed. "His chances all lay in the amount of free play allowed him by the rope. He dug his elbows into the ground and tested it. As soon as the rope tautened he stopped, and tried again more cautiously" (pg.488).

The bound man was fully aware of nature and the society which surrounded him. After being tied up in a rope for so long, society and the environment around him also learned to accept him, which made it easier for him to accept himself as a bound man. As the bound man made his journey's village to village, the people he would pass along the way, were so amused of what they saw. "The bound man became an enormous draw. His absurd steps and little jumps, his elementary exercises in movement, made the rope dancer superfluous. His fame grew from village to village, but the motions he went through were few and always the same; they were quite ordinary moves..." (pg.490).

In the story, "The Bound Man", by Ilse Aichingeer, Self-acceptance was the overal theme which was most revealed in the story. It was the truth that the bound man had to realize and the great deal of strengh and hope that encouraged the man to accept life as he was. It was the challenges he had to face with nature and society that led him to accomplish what he felt was needed to be done. Therfore, self-acceptance was greatly shown in this particular piece of writing.