“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.