What does Man in the Box mean?

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Alice In Chains: Man in the Box Meaning


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Song Released: 1991

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Man in the Box Lyrics

I’m the man in the box
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...


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    Jul 27th, 2007 7:18pm report

    The artist is in a struggle of some sort and is pleading for help. In the chorus, while he is asking for help from Christ, the echo is the devil tapping him on the shoulder trying to pull him back in. It is a rivalry between Christ and the devil for his soul.


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    Jun 21st, 2007 6:43pm report

    My interpretation is entirely religious in nature.

    First of all, in the video, what is holding him in the box, whatever that is? An upside down cross - a symbol of Satan or Satanism. It is too obvious to be accidental. Now this does not mean that the song is espousing Satanism - it is Satan keeping him in the box. Now, what IS the box?

    "Buried in my shit" - shit is sin, evil. But he can't get out of it alone. He cries out to be saved - by who? Jesus Christ is the only other figure in the song.

    OK, so that's one part of the song - basically repeated in verse two, using dog analogy of a dog being punished for his sin / shit. Note that in no case does the author say anything at all about doing anything himself, which is biblically correct - the bible is clear that God saves us, we don't save ourselves.

    So what's all this about the eyes etc?

    Genesis 3:2-6
    And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, "You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

    and from the book of Luke, Ch 24

    15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

    30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

    So perhaps the author is saying to God, look, you have chosen not to save me, from my sin, you have sewn my eyes shut, so why don't you then feed my eyes with something else. the implication is that none of it is his fault.


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    Nov 12th, 2006 11:03pm report

    Layne did not write "man in the box", jerry cantrell did. He wrote it about censorship. He attained the idea when aic went to dinner one night with two columbia records people who were vegetarians. They said that one of the main reasons is because veel is made from young cattle who spend what life they live trapped in cages. He wrote it about censorship (which would be the box).


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    Nov 8th, 2006 11:04am report

    Man in the box
    i'm the man in the box
    buried in my shit
    won't you come and save me, save me.

    The first verse is about a cry for help from someone who feels trapped by his own fault "my shit" maybe addictions, and is crying for help. Now the chorus, which is the beautiful part of the song, refers to how people pretend not to or ignore this man.

    Feed my eyes, with something different then suffering, can you sew them shut? People not wanting to see pain, and suffering all together.

    Jesus christ. Deny your maker. People often call out to a higher power in times of desperation, in this case jesus or god. Then people come back to earth and realize they're alone in the world, and no "higher power" will ever come. They need personal help or help from another.

    He who tries, will be wasted. He who tries to get out or solve his problem, will be wasted, and usually end up right back where he started. (an addict going back to drugs)

    feed my eyes, now you've sewn them shut. It's a person becoming numb to the world around them. Not seeing the world for what it is, beautiful, and horrific.

    I'm the dog who gets beat. Now they've shifted characters to a something helpless like a dog, being beat, and it crying out for help again. It repeats to the chorus showing that people don't want to see suffering, pain, and are scared to do something about it. They just want to sew their eyes shut to people in need and go on with their lives.
    I know it's wayyyyy diff from other interpretations, but I just can't believe that this song is only about censorship although it would make sense if llayne and jerry felt like dogs being beat by the record companies, because their contracts make them defenseless so they need outside help.

    My own interpretation, tell me what you think below.


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    Jun 12th, 2006 6:33pm report

    I saw an interview with Layne Staley and he said it was mainly about Censorship at that time affecting the music scene... However he did say he was stoned when he wrote it! so its open to any interpretation.


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    May 17th, 2006 5:27pm report

    Well, it is possible that the man in the box is in a coffin, but also that is a metaphor for what situation he is in. It could be a metaphor for death, although not physical. I can make that much out. He is asking for someone to come and save them from death (jesus), but at the same time he contradicts himself. The dog who gets beat could be being punished for something he did wrong. You often house train a dog by rubbing his nose in his shit and slapping him on the ass. This could be a metaphor for sin.


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    Mar 3rd, 2006 3:39pm report

    This poor soul is shouldering the weight of the world.

    I'm the man in the box (he's not in a coffin, he's just surrounded by turmoil, maybe mostly his own)

    I'm the dog who gets beat (feeling like he's everyone whipping post)

    The refrain is screaming repentance but if you deny your maker you will truly perish.


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    Feb 9th, 2006 2:42pm report

    This song is about death. "Man in the box" refers to a coffin. He's being burried in all his problems and people are treating him wrong.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway

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