With these two views in mind, we can envision the beast in the action of a slow motion springing, constant throughout the story. Wright presents two entirely different views of the beast, which is surprisingly something that our class has not hit on yet. Marcher and May each have their own view of the beast. I ask, whose view do we follow? I think we can. Although Wagenknecht evades giving us his interpretation of what the beast is, he at least implies that May having passed on, has also passed on to Marcher the knowledge he believed her to possess.
In all of this criticism I did not find any mention of Marcher experiencing homosexual panic. There is some talk about Marcher finding his identity through May and how his egotism is the center of his private universe, but I do not find the majority of these works to be on the cutting edge of criticism. I have not found any inferences of homosexuality or discussions considering the springing beast as the aggressiveness of the erecting phallus.
Now I shall try to tie this all together in a DeManian knot.
First of all, it is my understanding that critics attain their insight by being blind to certain things. This blindness to aspects of the work causes the critic to unconsciously discover the form and unity of the text in their interpretations. There is also the idea that the natural form of the work can not be found by exploring the rhetorical form of the text, because everything that the words figuratively represent actually mean something else.
Mine is a very basic and loose understanding of course.
An Analysis and Summary of Henry James' "The Beast in the Jungle" | Owlcation
What I want to know is how do we decide if something stated by a critic is valid? I have a lot of trouble understanding the concept of the correct misreading. I am completely stumped and mystified. Again, my understanding is cloudy at best: the critic is allowed to interpret the figurative usage of the author in a way that only he is individually capable of? Perhaps the way to judge the overall interpretation of a text is by seeing how many critics come up with the same reading?
Or, with this question, have I unwittingly fallen into the trap of majority rule?
“The Beast in the Jungle” by Henry James
I would now like to offer my view of the story as I close my examination. I find my view of the story grounded largely in what I consider biographical evidence. James never married, had a relationship with Ms. Henry James must have sensed himself on a Marcher-like path and caught himself just in time, otherwise he would not have been able to write the story; he would have died before having the proper knowledge. Actually, I could spend ten pages defending my view that this story is autobiographical. But in so many words that is my understanding of this material.
I see my experience of this course emerging more with the passing of time as I apply it to future coursework. Share this Post! All rights reserved. Kylie Garcia. Hi, would you like to get professional writing help? Real life is a bitch.
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Forget the Socratic maxim that the unexamined life is not worth living, it is the unexperienced life, Real Life, that isn't worth living. If you are reading this review, you didn't get to Goodreads by accident, and you certainly didn't click on this review of a Henry James novella for kicks. You are a lover of the written word, of literature, story writ of conflict that exists as a telling of the human condition.
And how do we approach these tales of conflict, stories often with unhappy endings, of humans suffering? Why do we keep coming back for more, sifting these stories through our own filters of pain? Because this is all we have. Let's face it, as lovers of literature, poetry, biographies and plays we are invested in exploring, experiencing and living the human condition. Without our own daily commitment to living the personal story we find ourselves in, these written words would be meaningless.
Real life is a pain. This masterful short piece by James, a literay exposition of the importance of engaging in Real Life, is presented in a manner both very accessible and opaque. After reading this story twice in succession, I fully understand how GR friend Proustitute claims to find new ways of approaching the text after a dozen readings. Here is the opening sentence of the story. Friendly reader, do me a kindness and read it three or four times as I did before continuing with this review: "What determined the speech that startled him in the course of their encounter scarcely matters, being probably but some words spoken by himself without intention - spoken as they lingered and slowly moved together after their renewal of acquaintance.
It does matter. The protagnoist Marcher needs more meaning, more self examination into those compass points in his life that go uncharted.
For what truly is the Beast that awaits us in the Jungle? For Marcher it is some unknown, unspeakable rare and strange terror that will happen to him, and presumably ruin his life. But by creating the traps in his life to snare the tiger, he neglected the asp. You see, Marcher, the Beast isn't the tragic event.
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It's the loss of a life not lived, of not investing in the You, even with full knowledge that it could yield real pain while living alongside the potential of bearing the fruit of real joy. James deftly shows us that the unexperienced life has the capacity to give us the pain without ever experiencing the joy.
It is clear where James's feelings lie on the answer to Hamlet's existential question. Yes, it is nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Give us a healthy does of that fortune so outrageous.
We are ready to take our chances. Fire when ready. View 2 comments. James is my second favorite writer, after Proust, of course. The Beast in the Jungle is probably his most masterful tale—novella or short story, you decide—and it's one that I've read at least ten times. While many of my readings have been colored by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's now canonical essay "The Beast in the Closet," this time around I read James's tale from an entirely new perspective.
And to me that's the most marvelous thing about writers like James: one never encounters the same text James is my second favorite writer, after Proust, of course. And to me that's the most marvelous thing about writers like James: one never encounters the same text; one always finds new entry points, threads, and cadences that were lost on the first or tenth reading. James's work is always lucid and at the same time ambiguous, tapping into the ebb and flow of our psychological mindsets; I suppose it's no wonder that our own psychological states while reading would blind us to the many other complex ideas and structures with which James is working with such laudable skill.
The Beast in the Jungle is the tale of John Marcher, a narrative that pits existential and phenomenological questions of being against the ineluctable nature of language, speech, and what is unnameable. While Marcher is sure that something monstrous is going to happen to him, thus remaining hypervigilant through his entire life in wait for what he calls the beast, James is quick to show how the underlying narcissism that pervades our suffering—and which can blind us to the suffering of others—still courts a desire to be understood, acknowledged, and ultimately known.
The analytic relationship between Marcher and May Bartram is one of the most beguiling and yet touching of these sorts of relationships in James's fiction, perhaps because the sense of intimacy and the threat of the beast are interwoven in a way that causes the textual rhythm to literally pulsate at times e. If you are a writer and you've never read this, I honestly have no idea what sort of company you've been keeping. Not only is The Beast in the Jungle one of the very best examples of the short story, but it is also an investigation into the same representational inquiries with which we all deal when trying to nail down words for things that are simply unnameable.
And if you're a reader who has never read this: what on earth are you waiting for? View all 3 comments. You said you had had from your earliest time, as the deepest thing within you, the sense of being kept for something rare and strange, possibly prodigious and terrible, that was sooner or later to happen to you, that you had in your bones the foreboding and the conviction of, and that would perhaps overwhelm you.
The author created a remarquable atmosphere where I felt as John Marcher felt , waiting eternally for something to happen to him.
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