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MonkeyNotes Study Guide/Summary-The Beast in the Jungle by Henry James
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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS

SETTING

The setting of almost the entire novella is in London. Only some portions of Chapter 6 are set in Asia. The novel opens in Weatherend, which is an English country house. The next three chapters are set in May’s house. The settings of the fifth chapter include May’s house, the park and May’s grave. In chapter 6, Marcher goes to the depths of Asia. The setting of this chapter is partly in the interior of Asia amidst scenes of romantic interest and superlative sanctity.

The scene later shifts to the temples of gods and sepulchers of Kings. After much wandering, the hero, Marcher, returns to London. The setting now is the cemetery and this is where the novel ends.


CHARACTER LIST

Major Characters

John Marcher

The hero of this novella. He feels that he has been chosen for some strange happening. He is obsessed with this apprehension. He considers himself different from the other people. Metaphorically speaking, he is a beast in the social jungle, in which he does not really fit.

May Bertram

A young lady who lives in her great aunt’s house. She is looked after very well in the house and she, in return, pays for her security by rendering service. She turns out to be John Marcher’s friend and his confidante.

Minor characters

Man at the Cemetery

A mourner who comes to the cemetery to mourn for his dear one. The intensity of his sorrow is an expression of love for the departed one.

The Great Aunt

May’s great aunt, with whom May resides. She leaves a legacy for May through her will.

Visitors at Weatherend

They are the people who move around Weatherend and admire the various things in the house. Some of them know too much, while others seem to know nothing.

The Maid

May’s maid. She obediently responds to May when she presses the bell. She helps May get up and go to the other room.

People at May’s Funeral

Around two to three people attend May’s funeral along with John Marcher and May’s maid.

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