It’s all in his head.

She spoke with an earnestness which, as if almost excessive, put him at ease about her possible derision. Somehow the whole question was a new luxury to him — that is, from the moment she was in possession. If she didn’t take the ironic view she clearly took the sympathetic, and that was what he had had, in all the long time, from no one whomsoever. What he felt was that he couldn’t at present have begun to tell her and yet could profit perhaps exquisitely by the accident of having done so of old. “Please don’t then. We’re just right as it is.” (197)

James, Henry. “The Beast in the Jungle.” In The Better Sort. New York: Scribner, 1903. Internet Archive. http://archive.org/details/bettersortoojamegoog.

Notes: How close does James come to “really representing life”? James uses a free, indirect style of narration to bring us inside Marcher’s head, how closely does this style reflect his critical prescriptions?

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