The Beast in the Jungle

“This horror of waking – this was knowledge, knowledge under the breath of which the very tears in his eyes seemed to freeze.   Through them, none the less, the tried to fix it and hold it; he kept it there before him so that he might feel the pain.  That at least, belated and bitter, had something of the taste of life.  But the bitterness suddenly sickened him, and it was as if, horribly, he saw, in the truth, in the cruelty of his image, what had been appointed and done.  He saw the Jungle of his life and saw the lurking Beast; then, while he looked, perceived it, as by a stir of the air, rise, huge and hideous, for the leap that was to settle him.   His eyes darkened –it was close; and, instinctively turning, in his hallucination, to avoid it, he flung himself, on his face, on the tomb” (James, 490).

Notes: Self-reflection, regret over decisions, loss of love, beast is either John Marcher and or the loneliness in Marcher’s life after the death of May

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

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