The Beast in the Jungle
Bachelor John Marcher is haunted by the premonition that something terrible lies in store for him, like a ‘beast in the jungle’ lying in wait. So he spends his life in idleness, unable to carry out his dreams or desires, while his friend May Bartram, curious to see how this spectacular fate will manifest, helps watch out for the arrival of the beast. The two develop a strong platonic relationship, stoked by this mystery, and gradually the best years of their life roll by, unfulfilled – lost to John’s dread and fear of the unknown. Written soon after The Wings of the Dove, The Beast in the Jungle is a haunting story of crippling obsession and a life unlived.
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