A narcissist is one who believes “he or she is ‘special’ and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special” people. They exploit others for their own advantage, lack empathy, and are “preoccupied with fantasies” or ideals that can be unrealistic. They believe they are the “primary importance in everybody’s life”. (“Narcissistic Personality”) Henry James’ theme in his short story, “The Beast in the Jungle”, is about a man, who is so egotistical and self-absorbed that he misses what life has to offer him, in particular, love, because of the narcissistic behavior he is doomed to live a life of loneliness and misery. John Marcher, the protagonist of “The Beast in the Jungle”, is about a narcissistic upper-class man who believes his life is to be defined by some unforetold event. He focuses only on himself and as a result, he neglects everything and everyone in his life. Marcher meets May Bartram, a woman who knows his secret, and instead of pursuing a romantic relationship with her, or even a genuine friendship, he uses her for his own benefit. Henry James utilizes a variety of literary devices to convey this theme in his story, such as the title, symbolism, …show more content…
After years of loneliness and misery, Marcher realizes what he had been oblivious to and, ultimately, everything he had lost, most importantly, the love he had lost. “This horror of waking—this was knowledge, knowledge under the breath of which the very tears in his eyes seemed to freeze” (1177). He could have escaped his fate of nothingness and loneliness, “The escape would have been to love her; then, then he would have lived” (1176). Marcher’s punishment for being so selfish and self-absorbed was that “he had been the man of his time, the man, to whom nothing on earth was to have happened” (1176). This was the story of a man whose ego was the “beast” in the “jungle” of
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Mann, John S. "The Theme of the Double in The Call of the Wild." The Markham Review 8 (Fall 1978): 1-5. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Paula Kepos. Vol. 39. Detroit: Gale Research, 1991. Literature Resource Center. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.
Perkins, Geroge, and Barbara Perkins. The American Tradition in Literature. 12th ed. Vol. 2. New York: McGraw Hill, 2009. Print
“The Jungle,” written by Upton Sinclair in 1906, describes how the life and challenges of immigrants in the United States affected their emotional and physical state, as well as relationships with others. The working class was contrasted to wealthy and powerful individuals who controlled numerous industries and activities in the community. The world was always divided into these two categories of people, those controlling the world and holding the majority of the power, and those being subjected to them. Sinclair succeeded to show this social gap by using the example of the meatpacking industry. He explained the terrible and unsafe working conditions workers in the US were subjected to and the increasing rate of corruption, which created the feeling of hopelessness among the working class.
Byatt, A.S. “The Thing in the Forest.” The Norton Introduction to Literature. Ed. Kelly J. Mays. 11th ed. New York: Norton, 2013. 352-67.
Perkins George, Barbara. The American Tradition in Literature, 12th ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2009. Print
In “The Pardoner’s Tale,” Geoffrey Chaucer masterfully frames an informal homily. Through the use of verbal and situational irony, Chaucer is able to accentuate the moral characteristics of the Pardoner. The essence of the story is exemplified by the blatant discrepancy between the character of the storyteller and the message of his story. By analyzing this contrast, the reader can place himself in the mind of the Pardoner in order to account for his psychology.
Keen opens his book with an introductory chapter examining three literary works pertaining to chivalry: the Ordene de Chevalerie, the Book of the Ordre of Chyvalry, and the Book of Chivalry. All three of these were written during a period of great religious reform, yet, according to Keen, they appear to not have been influenced by the ideas of the Church. The Ordene de Chevalerie is an anonymous poem that stresses the importance of the ritual required for initiation into knighthood. The popularity of the piece leads to the conclusion that the poem reflects “what men understood chivalry to mean” (8). This poem is then contrasted by the Book of the Ordre of Chyvalry, a narrative work written by Ramon Lull that describes in detail the origins and meaning of chivalry. A consideration of Geoffrey de Charny’s ...