Tag Archives: james

Portrait of Innocence

O, I say, here’s a fellow who says he kisses his mother every night before he goes to bed. The other fellows stopped their game and turned round, laughing Stephen blushed under their eyes and said  –I do not. Wells said: –O, I say, here is a fellow who says he doesn’t kiss his mother before he goes to bed. They all laughed again. Stephen tried to laugh again. He felt his whole body hot and confused in a moment. What was the right answer to the question? (pg 7)

His mother kissed him. Was that right? (pg 11)

Joyce, James. a portrait of the artist as a young man. New York City: Dover Thrift Editions, 1994. Print.

Notes: Both passages show Stephen confusion as a young child who feels lost in a new environment. He is a new student and cannot seem to fit in and does not know what the other children aspect of him so that he could fit in with the rest. His innocence is very apparent in both passages because as a young student in a new school he just wants to make friends and fit in with the rest of the students. These passages can be related universally because everyone has been through this kind of experience.

May and Marcher

What it had come to was that he wore a mask painted with the soclal simper, out of the eyeholes of which there looked eyes of an expression not in the least matching the other features. This the stupid world, even after years, had never more than half discovered. It was only May Bartram who had, and she achieved, by an art indescribable, the feat of at once—or perhaps it was only alternately—meeting the eyes from in front and mingling her own vision, as from over his shoulder, with their peep through the apertures.”

Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle”, in Major Stories & Essays, Library of America College Editions, 1999), p459-460

Notes: James, relationships, love, society, identity, alliteration

Appearance of Life

“If it had no importance he scarcely knew why his initial impression of her should so seem to have so much; the answer to which, however, was that in such a life as they all appeared to be leading for the moment one could but take things as they came”

Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle” in The Better Sort, (New York: The Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1903), 190-191.

The appearance of how a life is lived can be as important as how a life is actually lived. James is also speaking on the inevitability of events and the importance of taking things in stride.

A mask and a shell

“What it had come to was that he wore a mask painted with the social simper, out of the eyeholes of which there looked eyes of an expression not in the least matching the other features.” James, Henry. Major Stories and Essays. New York: Library of America, 1999. pg 459. I see Marcher as hollow and empty ~ a mask not as a disguise but as a cover for a shell.

“Isn’t what you describe perhaps but the expectation-or, at any rate, the sense of danger, familiar to so many people-of falling in love?” James, Henry. pg 453. Marcher feels he is destined for something bigger than falling in love and he doesn’t realize that is the biggest thing of all.

Dogs

The great rooms caused so much poetry and history to press upon him that he needed to wander apart to feel in a proper relation with them, though his doing so was not, as happened, like the gloating of some of his companions, to be compared to the movements of a dog sniffing a cupboard. It had an issue promptly enough in a direction that was not to have been calculated.

Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle” in The Better Sort, (New York: The Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1903), 190.

Notes: Insignificance in poetry, in feeling, in history, in the past.

Expectations dissolved

“It hadn’t taken them many minutes, after all, to put down on the table, like the cards of a pack, those that constituted their respective hands; only what came out was that the pack was unfortunately not perfect- -that the past, invoked, invited, encouraged, could give them, naturally, no more than it had.”

Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle”, in Major Stories & Essays (New York: Library of America, 1999).

Notes: Expectations vs. reality, perspective differences, disappointment

 

Luck

—that is to within reach of the dim day
constituted by their discretions and privacies—the object of value the hiding-place of which he had, after putting it into the ground himself, so strangely, so long forgotten. The rare luck of his having again just stumbled
on the spot made him indifferent to any other question;

Beast in the Jungle-

Henry James http://www2.hn.psu.edu/faculty/jmanis/hjames/beastjungle.pdf

Notes- luck,value,rare,indifferent, question,discretion,james, beast, jungle

the missing link

Henry James, “Beast in the Jungle”

“As soon as he heard her voice, however, the gap was filled up and the missing link supplied…” (James, Henry, Gutenberg ebook. Project Gutenberg, 2005, 3).

“What she brought out, at any rate, quite cleared the air and supplied the link—the link it was so odd he should frivolously have managed to lose” (4).

Thoughts: triggers, gap, emptiness, loss, unaware loss, opportunity, presence, nostalgia, filling, refreshing

unaware of the Beast

“Ah, your not being aware of it,” and she seemed to hesitate an instant to deal with this–“your not being aware of it is the strangeness in the strangeness.  It’s the wonder of the wonder.”  She spoke as with the softness almost of a sick child, yet now at last, at the end of all, with the perfect straightness of a sibyl.  She visibly knew that she knew, and the effect on him was of something co-ordinate, in its high character, with the law that had ruled him.         It was the true voice of the law; so on her lips would the law itself have sounded.

Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle”, in Major Stories & Essays (New York: Library of America, 1999), 478.

Notes: opportunity lost, life of regret, meaning of simile, how did she know

 

Take things as they come

“If it had no importance he scarcely knew why his actual impression of her should so seem to have so much; the answer to which, however, was that in such a life as they all appeared to be leading for the moment one could but take things as they come.” 

James, Henry. “The Beast in the Jungle.” In The Better Sort. New York: Scribner, 1903. Internet Archive. http://archive.org/details/bettersort00jamegoog. (191).

Notes: impressions, life, taking things as they come, reality