Tag Archives: beast

Was Denial the Beast?

“But the devil in this was that very basis itself put marrying out of the question. His conviction, his apprehension, his obsession, in short, was not a condition he could invite a woman to share; and that consequence of it precisely what was the matter with him.”

Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle”, in Major Stories & Essays, Library of America College Editions, 1999), p457

Is his conviction apprehension and obsession the “beast”? Was James trying to hint that his denial of the relationship was the beast? … “like a crouching beast in the jungle.” (pg 457)


—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



He stayed away, after this, for a year; he visited the depths of Asia, spending himself on scenes of romantic interest, of superlative sanctity; but what was present to him everywhere was that for a man who had known what he had known the world was vulgar and vain.

Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle,” in Major Stories & Essays (New York: Library of America, 1999), 484.

Notes: romantic? Also–why “spending himself”?