man in the basement a critical review

Man in the Basement: A Critical Review

            The novel presupposes that evil is relative and subject to the interpretation of man. Nonetheless, the author also argues that evil is caused by the materialistic desires of this world; engulfing and destroying itself.

When Bennet admits being a reclaimer, who had broken every commandment of God, Charles is staggered to find a greater evil than him. Hence, he interprets Bennet’s acts as the culmination of evil in this world. This is all the more expressed when Bennet admits that he gave a 9 month old infant to a man’s dog since the man wanted to prove that the myth of wolves raising children is true. He stole precious stones, cut human organs, trafficked human beings throughout the world for a profit (Mosley 137). Charles begins to realize the cruelty of the world; a material world subject to evil and misery. Thus when Charles said, ‘I have the keys to salvation’, he is speaking ironically (this is a combination of irony and symbolism). The key here refers generally to the keys of cage that cannot be opened; that is, the key salvation of this world does not rest today’s time. Bennet asks Charles to punish him while in a cage. Charles refuses to accede to Bennet’s request. Thereupon, an air of meditation and reflection on the part of Charles begins.

            Charles begins to realize the pitfalls of his life, the nature of evil, and the transgression of capitalism in his life. Here, the issue of guilt over individual salvation is clearly manifested. His character symbolizes individual guilt and shame. He said, ”Even my best friends simply accepted what they saw. The cardplayer with a sharp tongue who couldn’t back up half the things he said. The petty thief, the man across the street, dead Samuel’s son. I might as well have been a tree at the end of the block. People saw me well enough to walk around, but that was just about it” (Mosley 115). With the arrival of Bennet, he soon realizes that salvation is possible for him. His acts of shame are incomparable to the evils of his tenants. In the end, he tries to reprimand himself at the cost of his material satisfaction.

            The issue of individual materialism and personal accountability and responsibility to society is also present in the novel (in a form of dialogue). With a nose for profit, Bennet did everything for other people. He tells Charles, ”With a word from me, your life could end. ”Maybe just with a gesture. A sentence could level a city block or blow a jetliner out of the sky. A dream could destroy Philadelphia. A disagreement could throw western Africa into famine for five years. You see it every day on TV, but no one listens. People like me move around, but no one knows our names” (Mosley 225). Charles replies, “But why do people are so proud of their miserable conditions when they themselves did not cause it” (Mosley 25). Here, the seeming contradiction between suffering and evil is magnified. Bennet wants to explain it; Charles wants to deny it.  The result is a great polemic struggle between two ideologies of the same level.

Thus, the materialistic desires of an individual are coalesced with the materialistic demands of other people, bringing undesirable effects to the society. The effects are magnified by the fact that these people remain unaccountable to the society; that is, their evils remain unpunished.

            Here, Charles realizes the importance of society’s values but in the end, Charles struggles to concretize it.

Work Cited

Mosley, Walter. MAN IN MY BASEMENT. New York: Little, Brown & Company, 2003.

"Looking for a Similar Assignment? Order now and Get a Discount!

Take My Online Class For Me | Full Course Services
Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Work with Us

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.

Professional and Experienced Academic Writers

We have a team of professional writers with experience in academic and business writing. Many are native speakers and able to perform any task for which you need help.

Free Unlimited Revisions

If you think we missed something, send your order for a free revision. You have 10 days to submit the order for review after you have received the final document. You can do this yourself after logging into your personal account or by contacting our support.

Prompt Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee

All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.

Original & Confidential

We use several writing tools checks to ensure that all documents you receive are free from plagiarism. Our editors carefully review all quotations in the text. We also promise maximum confidentiality in all of our services.

24/7 Customer Support

Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.


Essay Writing Service

No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.


Admission Essays & Business Writing Help

An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.


Editing Support

Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.


Revision Support

If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.

Hey, wait!You Don't want to miss this offer!

Before you go, let us offer you a 20% discount coupon for your next purchase.