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THE BEAST IN THE JUNGLE, HENRY JAMES
Henry James wrote some amazing women characters. Tragic heroines seem to be his specialty. The story is perhaps a bit predictable, but honestly I found it so easy to relate to it. It's a very touching story indeed. I could really sympathize with the heroine of this story. Bless her poor puritan heart. However, I don't feel sorry for her. I feel there is bravery in her innocence, something that I can't help but respect. Perhaps her illusions have a value of their own? Perhaps her fate is not so tragic? Perhaps it is better to believe in something that isn't true than to be vulgar? Who is really the victim? I had a lot of questions upon finishing this story, and I happen to think that's a sign of good writing.
I can definitely recommend this one to fans of Henry James. It's very much his signature style. If you liked Daisy Miller, you'll probably like this one as well. On the other hand, I can see how it might seem naive to a cynic. I suppose it's not a story for everyone, but it definitely has its place among the classics.