Alice In Chains: Man in the Box Meaning
Man in the Box Lyrics
Buried in my shit
Won’t you come and save me, save me
Feed my eyes, can you sew them shut?
Jesus christ, deny your maker
He who tries, will be wasted
Feed my eyes now you’ve sewn them shut
I’m the dog who...
anonymous May 28th 2009, 18:00 report
While a lot of people are interpreting this song as a sort of hymn, I think that its attitude towards religion is not necessary all positive. I base this interpretation on the songwriter's comment that the song is about censorship, as well as the lyrics themselves.
In America, censorship is used to promote decency and traditional values. We associate decency with religion, and our traditional values - which condone sexuality, violence, and inappropriate language - originate in Christianity. If a member of an American rock band was angry about censorship, it's unlikely that he would write a song praising Christianity, which is responsible for censorship.
Now, to figure out this song.
Two things happen to the man in the box. The first is during the verses. He is "buried in my shit", "beat", etc. - being victimized, depressed, fake, suffering, living an unhappy and worthless life. At this point, he cries for someone - presumably "Jesus Christ" - to "come and save" him.
The second event happens during the chorus. His eyes are being "fed" and "sewn shut", in response to his cry for help. Metaphorically, he is being "fed" information, and then being completely cut off from information. By whom? Some people have said Satan, but I don't see Satan mentioned anywhere in this song. I think the person is clearly Jesus Christ. "Feed my eyes, can you sew them shut / Jesus Christ".
The man in the box, depressed and unhappy with his life, turns to religion to save him. And religion does "feed" him the ideas and information he craves - that he is being cared for and loved by a higher power, there is hope for an afterlife, that there is meaning in life. But after "feeding his eyes", religion "sews them shut", by closing his mind to new, potentially dangerous ideas and information. This is the act of censorship, what the entire song is about.
anonymous Dec 15th 2007, 17:17 report
Jerry Cantrell AND Layne Staley wrote this song. They were out eating with vegetarians. They explained how the calves were raised in little boxes only to be slaughtered and that's how we get veal. This inspired "man in the box". from Cantrell's point it is mainly about censorship, Layne felt it was more about most people, living in the placed the grew up, day to day routine, creating a type of box around your life and leaving you stuck with bills and job you hate, etc.
anonymous Aug 10th 2009, 15:55 report
First of all, I just want to clear up something that Toolow123 said: the "Jesus Christ" is not connected directly with "deny your maker", and the "deny your maker" is meant to be interpreted as connected to the following passage "deny your maker...he who tries will be wasted", which follows right after, meaning that he who sins and denies existence of or spiritual connection to either god or jesus will be wasted.
The fact that the song is religious at least in a spiritual sense (i.e. using religion as a metaphor for morality, etc.) is undeniable in my view. What is questionable is the meaning of "feed my eyes....now you've sewn them shut". This likely has the meaning that god feeds his eyes by giving life and freedom and then withdraws freedom from those who abuse it. The part that is unclear is whether he is trying to say this in a sad or sarcastic way claiming that this is unfair, or whether he is simply illustrating a harsh reality, or whether he is accepting this reality and communicating to the listener the danger that is associated with falter, denial, and ultimately sin.
anonymous Mar 5th, 01:35 report
i see it differently i guess. great song. Im the man in the box, this is him in the world, buried in my shit, fighting an up hill battle with sin and worldly things, problems. won't you come and save me, save me? asking Jesus to save him. Feed my eyes, can you sew them shut? i think he is asking Jesus to feed him the light, the Bible references light as holy and darkness as evil. light salvation. notice there are 2 singers i believe when the 2nd singer asks can you sew them shut its a question reference to staying away from the light for good, always being in the darkness by sewing them shut. he says, he who tries (2nd singer)-will be wasted. he is trying, asking Jesus to save him again, with conviction-notice his strong voice in the chorus.the (2nd singer) will be wasted, is satan telling him Jesus won't save him he is wasting his time, not worthy. last one. feed my eyes, notice his voice not quite as intense, trying once more to be saved, now you've sewn them shut, he didn't get saved, remaining in darkness. could also be a reference to the past as if he is looking back on it. im the dog that gets beat, meaning he tries to do good but he is a product of his environment, so to speak, reference to sin, he is the dog as Jesus his master. shove my nose in shit. punishing him for sinning. then its the same over again.
pay attention to his voice intensity throughout the song and listen to the 2 singers as it references 2 people or 1 person 1 being. thanks Just my .02
anonymous Dec 5th 2012, 21:41 report
I’m the man in the box
Buried in my shit
MEANING: I'm miserable
Won’t you come and save me, save me
MEANING: God please save me.
SINGER: Feed my eyes, DEVIL: can you sew them shut?
SINGER: Jesus christ, DEVIL: deny your maker
SINGER: He who tries, DEVIL: will be wasted
SINGER: Feed my eyes now you’ve sewn them shut
Just my interpretation.
Layne had such a powerful voice, and range.
anonymous Oct 26th 2012, 08:39 report
The world medias drama propaganda and the churchs "churchiness" offer no lasting relief from the pain of abuse. Just more rules and overconsumption. Insisting upon the blind sheep to reject messianic revelation for continual hope for a new jesus according to "their" plan.
anonymous Jul 23rd 2012, 07:20 report
They may have been thinking about censorship when writing this song, but the song is not about censorship. It is about Cantrell or the band blaming Christianity for the censorship, among other things.
This message is flawed in so many ways, but I'll just get to the meaning. I'm a guitar player. I'm a huge AIC fan, a Christian, and this meaning is extremely cut and dry, IMO.
(I'm the man in the box)
We live and die. We're born into the grave. They mention this in other songs, and a lot of their songs obviously deal with the topic of death.
(Buried in my shit)
This could mean sin, or a shit life [he's not dead yet here]. Interpret this how you want, it's not a pivotal point in the song.
(Won't you come and save me, save me)
Here, he is talking directly to Jesus (or God), but he is not asking for help like many others have said. They do not reveal the meaning of the song yet.
(Feed my eyes, can you sew them shut?)
Here is the meaning of the song: He can't believe in God (Jesus) and be delivered into the afterlife by Him, because he needs something more tangible - a sign.
(Jesus Christ, deny your maker)
This line basically sets up the next, and finally reveals that he is addressing Jesus by naming him.
(He who tries, will be wasted)
Exhibits some superficial knowledge of the Gospel [although in disbelief... remember he needs a sign to believe]. The knowledge is that, if you reject Christ as the only way to God [or in other words Jesus Christ as your Saviour], you're done at death... or worse go to hell [wasted].
(Feed my eyes now you've sewn them shut)
Again, pleading for a sign, but then you guessed it... he's dead now... it's too late. Makes another reference to death [eyes sewn shut], but in this scenario he's not being delivered into the afterlife [or everlasting life] by God.
(I'm the dog who gets beat)
(Shove my nose in shit)
Now, finally, after laying out their flawed [IMHO] beliefs, they [or perhaps Cantrell alone] go on to complain about censorship - apparently at the behest of some Christian "moral authority," as the song's previous complaints suggest. Then the chorus repeats. Don't make me explain it again.
Since I am a Christian, and have helped to enlighten you mere mortals of this song's flawed yet esoteric meanings, I feel as though it is my duty to leave you with something more substantial.
"But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Matthew 12:39,40
anonymous Jul 21st 2012, 02:32 report
to be honest I didn't read every one of the things written here, but I always took it to be sorta about censorship, AND in a sarcastic way attacking religion..
but then again I am an atheist so I don't get religion, and think of all the people that are religious as the "man in the box"
anonymous Oct 11th 2011, 22:55 report
I met a guy who was the guitar tech for the Seattle band Grunttruck who also got a record deal at the same time as all the grunge bands. He told me story of a guy who won the state lottery and got a hotel room and bought insane amounts of drugs,and for a year did nothing but party. He was the man in the box, Lane Staley bought drugs off of this dude,with the way he died it makes sense.
anonymous Jun 26th 2011, 13:13 report
Analyze the lyrics and then watch the official video... this song is about veal? hardly... that is the politically correct message of someone with an agenda. This song is screaming of a man's person struggles with his own personal demons (...something he wants to be saved from personally) The video shows an ominous figure walking around in "grim reaper" robes.. This is classic good vs. evil as is evidenced in the chorus with a call and response between the lead singer and the back-up vocals... his cry for help and his personal demons telling him he has no hope. Veal, yeah right... the man in the box is trapped and looking for a way out. He feels frustrated and like a victim in the second verse referencing himself to a dog being beaten... while calling for help, his personal demons tell him he has no hope (Jesus Christ....deny your maker...) and even if he tries he will return to his vices trapping him right back in the box... watch the official video... this is a metaphoric scream for help in the midst of hopelessness, covered with some ridiculous story of veal to cover something darker and deeper while also making a political statement that would make for cause celeb... this is 101...
anonymous Feb 5th 2011, 11:52 report
No one shoves their beliefs down everyone's throats more than anti Christians. Most politicians, Hollywood, the liberal media, most college professors, most music etc all hate Christianity and force those beliefs down Christians throats. As far as Christians saying believe What we believe or go to hell? Newsflash, we didn't come up with that, Jesus did. Jesus said himself he is he way the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through him. We didn't write that and we didn't say that, We just believe it. If you don't, you don't have a problem with us you have a problem with Christ. Either way it doesn't change the truth. Jesus is Lord. You can acknowledge it now or you will acknowledge it agaisnt your will when you die.
anonymous Jan 23rd 2011, 03:36 report
Song to me means that maybe he was abused and tortured as a kid so he prays to god for help. Or it may mean he wants to be free from all his sins in life.
lilbiz7890 Sep 1st 2010, 09:56 report
Before I say this...I want everyone to know this is only my opinion....but I think that Jesus is feeding him information so as it is said by someone else on here but I also think that he is thinking or at least the ''information'' that is given from Jesus christ is to say he is denying his maker, God or Jehovah or whoever and he is tryin to tell the listener not to follow these lies because he will be wasted and well....this may sound insane but there it is...belive it or not but oh well...
anonymous Jul 9th 2010, 01:18 report
I agree that the chorus is a struggle between Christ and Satan (an excellent use of creative lyrical work!) and that the singer is basically desperate for any kind of salvation, and is grasping for anything he can get. As for you, Shikkie, I believe you've sewn your eyes shut
anonymous Apr 20th 2010, 12:40 report
I have a VERY literal interpretation...Does anyone remember the man who was kidnapped, held captive for ransom, while being chained inside a wooden box? He was in this box while in a storage warehouse. I saw this on a Investigative Reports awhile back. He was not released in time and died in the box. He was not allowed to even get out to defecate.
I do however understand the other interpretations, just a thought.
First, I'd like to respond to Shikkie. You obviously don't know anything about "Christianity" simply by the comments that you made. You are simply choosing to believe the lies that someone else has told you to believe without checking it out for yourself. This is rather obvious to anyone that does understand what Christianity really is, (not religion).
Secondly, Man in the Box is exactly what it says. It talks of a man that is frustrated with his own life, tries religion, and fails therefore frustrating him even more, so he blames God. He never takes the time to get to know Jesus Christ as his Savior, so he wants to blame Jesus rather that the one who is really at fault.....HIMSELF. Who is the one that committed the sin? Who is the one that has to pay for the sin? God's Word says in Romans 6:23, "For the wages (payment) of sin is death (separation, NOT annihilation), but the gift of God is eternal life (being freed from the "box") through Jesus Christ our Lord. So, one can either "TRY" religion, stay "stuck in the box", or accept the Gift of God which is Jesus Christ. I, for one, choose to "Live outside the Box".
This song is about Censorship and how it is incorporated into Religion. Big religion, namely Islam and Christianity, tend to focus on the idea of "worship our god as your only god, or burn in hell." Meaning, you cannot believe in anything but our religion. notice the verse "Deny your maker. He who tries, will be wasted". Obviously this is what he was trying to express.
Imo, the reason for writing "Feed my eyes now you've sewn them shut" is: The man in the box who has been beaten and abused turns to christianity to "save" himself. In doing so, he gets Fed these bogus ideas, and in return, his eyes get Sewn shut to logical belief. Or perhaps its the other way around. He sews his eyes shut by believing in christianity, and now that he's crossed that point, he's asking to be fed more of these biblical lies.
This song is a big F-you to radical christians and muslims. You people force your ideas down desperate mens' throats, and brainwash them into believing that by sacrificing for the "greater good" will reward them in the afterlife. Look at the crusades, or the 9/11 attacks. It's ironic that some churches sport the poster saying "Think outside the box" when in reality, you're just shoving them into a box - a big box of ignorance. Wake up people, and get a life... for Christ's sake.
More Alice In Chains song meanings »
Man in the Box lyrics
Man in the Box is considered:
No categories, suggest one![ suggest ]
Submit Your Interpretation
|Someone Saved My Life Tonight||rlquall|
|Better Dig Two||anonymous|
|Who Owns My Heart||anonymous|
|Ring of Fire||anonymous|
|Bennie and the Jets||rlquall|
|Beast and the Harlot||anonymous|
|Take a Chance on Me||anonymous|
|I Have a Dream||anonymous|
|Like We Used To||anonymous|