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


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