The Beast in the Jungle

“It was always open to him to accuse her of seeing him but as the most harmless of maniacs, and this, in the long run–since it covered so much ground–was his easiest description of their friendship. He had a screw loose for her, but she liked him in spite of it, and was practically, against the rest of the world, his kind, wise keeper, unremunerated, but fairly amused and, in the absence of other near ties, not disreputably occupied” (206).

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

Labeling a self-proclaimed maniac as harmless.

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