“The Beast in the Jungle”

“Since it was in Time that he was to have met his fate, so it was in Time that his fate was to have acted; and as he walked up to the sense of no longer being young, which was exactly the sense of being stale, just as that, in turn, was the sense of being weak, he walked up to another matter beside. It all hung together; they were subject, he and the great vagueness, to an equal and indivisible law. When the possibilities themselves had, accordingly, turned stale, when the secret of the gods had grown faint, had perhaps even quite evaporated, that, and that only was failure.”

Henry James, “The Beast in the Jungle,” in Major Stories and Essays (New York: Library of America, 1999), 469-470.

It is interesting to see how Marcher views growing old. If he is to grow old he loses his purpose and suddenly becomes weak. Failure seems to be his biggest concern. I also noticed how ‘time’ had been capitalized but ‘gods’ had not been. Readers can see where his concerns lie in this passage.

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