The Beast in the Jungle is a vivid tale of two friends lives intertwined and lost through their own beliefs composed by Henry James. The story is through the perspective of the main character, John Marcher, who believes his life is destined towards an unknown disaster. Through curiosity that turned to love, May Batram, stays by her friend, John Marchers side through the duration of his wasted life as they both watched and waited for the imaginary disaster to occur. The disaster was the reason for not living his life and letting it slip through his fingers unknown. Life must be lived. May Batram was curious and inquisitive of Marchers thought, a curiosity that turned into loyal love for Marcher.
When Marcher had first met May it had been in Naples, though to his recollection it had been Rome. May put him in the right and he accepted her amendments, enjoyed her corrections, (407).
He was holding her in high regard now as he had ten years prior when he told her of his secret. This secret was one quoted from Marcher by May as from (his) earliest time, as the deepest thing within (him), the sense of being kept for something rare and strange, possibly terrible, (411).
May had an eagerness for knowledge in her younger years with the aim of witnessing Marchers disaster. Throughout ten years of not seeing each other May remembered and quoted John Marchers words about his secret whereas he had lost the consciousness of having taken (her) so far into (his) confidence (410) and that he really didnt remember the least thing about her (407).
The Life and Works of John Dryden John Dryden was considered the most influential man of literature in the second half of the 17 th century. He was the first of the great English neo-classical poets. He was well known for his poems, drama, and criticism. He called himself Neander, the "new man," in his essay Of Dramatic Poesy (1668), and implied that he was spokesman for the concerns of his ...
May was ever intrigued by Marcher and vowed that in being the only person in the world (410) to know of Marchers secret she would watch with (him) (414) for the disaster which was yet to come. Marchers forgetfulness and sudden decision making tended to lend aid to his not seizing life and let him continue with his created disaster dragging May down its path of wasted years along side. For years May and Marcher used themselves to look normal, and May often remarked, What saves us, you know, is that we answer so completely to so usual an appearance: that of a man and a woman whose friendship has become such a daily habit, or almost, as to be at last indispensable (420).
As the years crept by May and Marcher constantly see each other still waiting and watching for what was never to occur on its own. On such a visit they got to discussing the situation of themselves and of the apparent lack of a catastrophe. Marcher, concerned that May had wasted her interests on nothing, commented that, Doesnt it sometimes come to you, as time goes on, that you curiosity is not being particularly repaid? (421).
This was the day May told him her watch was over and her curiosity satisfied. When he asked if it was all over, the end of their watch she said, this is not the end of our watch. That is it isnt the end of yours. You have everything still to see (424).
Marcher being scared that she knew something stated You know something I do not. You know what is to happen. Its so bad youre afraid Ill find out (424).
This was the point when May had realized that nothing Marcher had ever believed would happened would happen and that he had wasted his life and she had inevitably wasted hers as well through her love and loyalty to him. May was failing in health and kept her realization nobly to herself in her love for Marcher and of him not having to take the fact that everything in life he had waited and lived, or not lived for, was all for nothing. On day before she died, she said to Marcher of what did and was happening that includes all the loss and all the shame that are unthinkable (433).
After her death Marcher traveled to Asia for a year before returning, still ignorant to his life, or lack there of. He visited Mays grave and this was where the realization May wished and prayed he would not come to hit him and how hugely it glared at him! (450).
What I want most in life is to be able to look back and say there wasn t anything I regret, no chances I didn t take, and nothing I passed up. Life is to short to be spent asking yourself "what if?' What if I had tried harder, done more, been better. There are many things beyond our control that keep us from our dreams, but fear is the worst, and we bring it upon ourselves. Webster's Revised ...
Marcher had not lived (450) and she had prayed he mightnt know (450).
In the end Marcher had been hit with his disaster, on he waited his whole life for and manifested himself, when this realization hit him, the Beast had indeed lurked, and the Beast, in its hour, had sprung (450).
Life must be lived, not waited around for.
The Scarlet Letter, Henry James.