Analysis Of Henry James ' Short Story ' The Beast Of The Jungle '

886 Words Jun 29th, 2015 4 Pages
This lesson provides a summary and analysis of Henry James ' short story, 'The Beast in the Jungle. ' A core focus of this lesson is the story 's emphasis on the themes of loneliness, relationships, the meaning of life, and life 's inevitable regrets.
!!!Lesson Overview

Henry James has long been known as a master of subtle psychological fiction, which is no surprise, considering that his brother was the pioneering psychiatrist, William James, who originated the term, 'stream-of-consciousness. ' Henry James ' reputation for delving into the nuances of the human psyche was cemented in no small measure by what many consider to be one of his finest stories, 'The Beast in the Jungle. '

'The Beast in the Jungle ' tells the story of John Marcher and his lifelong friendship with May Bartram. Early in their relationship, Marcher shares with May the great secret of his life, his conviction that it is his destiny to suffer some catastrophic fate, some spectacular event that will define his life and the lives of those around him. This event, Marcher says, lies in wait for him like the beast in the jungle that gives the story its name.

Across the decades, May and Marcher cultivate their friendship, determining to await together the pouncing of the beast. But Marcher vows that he will never embroil a wife or children in this vigil, that he will not tie the fate of a family he would create to the catastrophe that he knows awaits him.

As the story progresses, however, it becomes…
Open Document