The man alone is a literary stock character. Usually an antihero, he is similar to the Byronic hero. The man alone tends to epitomise existentialism, and, in the words of the academic E. H. McCormick may be defined as "the solitary, rootless nonconformist, who in a variety of forms crops up persistently in New Zealand writing".
Men alone figure frequently in the literature of newly settled or recently colonised countries such as Australia and especially New Zealand, and the term is likely to have found popularity with the publication of the "Great Kiwi Novel", Man Alone by John Mulgan in 1939 (this novel's title itself originated in a quotation from Ernest Hemingway's To Have and Have Not). The man alone is, by nature, a loner, either by choice or as a result of circumstances beyond his control. This state of separation from society is often literal, in that the man alone will often live physically separate from society as a hermit or working in the wilds of the country. At other times, the state is psychological only; the man alone may live within the presence of others but be emotionally separate or aloof from them.
Examples of the man alone in literature and film
- Johnson, in Man Alone, by John Mulgan
- John Hobson, in The Quiet Earth, by Craig Harrison
- Max Rockatansky in the Mad Max series.
- "Men Alone". Otago.ac.nz. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
- "The Man Alone, the Black Sheep and the Bad Apple: Squeaky Wheels of New Zealand Cinema". Researchspace.auckland.ac.nz. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
- "New Zealand Book Council". Bookcouncil.org.nz. Retrieved 2015-06-06.