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Henry James

In: People

Submitted By TAGtay
Words 3063
Pages 13
Taylor Groenhout
Ms. Schaner
AP Language
22 May 2012
Two Different Worlds With the “BOORRRUUMMMM” of the big horn on our giant ship, the captain sounded the supposedly great news of our arrival. Although I love traveling, sitting in this musty old coat pocket is quite a bore and our destination on this business trip is less than desirable. “I’m back…” my master droned as he stepped onto the unsophisticated American soil. Whipping me out of his chamber of a coat pocket and handing me to the tall uniformed man, I was admired, scanned, and stamped. The man at the port had never seen such an accomplished one of my kind before. I have ventured between America and the always great Europe an impressive number of times and plan on being stamped at different country boundaries until my pages are worn to the core, and I am an inked mess. “Incredible, Sir this passport is quite weathered. I see you have been many the miles.” “Mr. Henry James is my name and thank you. I take great pride in my travels for they provide one with experience and insight.”
With a hard stamp my pages were once again marked with the disgraceful American ink, but either way I was glad to add another traveler’s mark to my collection. As Henry continued to talk about his travels and writing, he waved me around like a trophy to behold. Although glad to be seen and treasured, I wished he would put me away and we could start exploring some more. Getting into the carriage, he slipped me into the breast pocket of his coat which was my absolute favorite spot because it was the closest to his heart. With the crack of the whip, neigh of the horses, and jerk of the wagon we were off again to spend our precious time in the almost never lovely America. Longing to return to the civilized culture of Europe, Henry patted me in his breast pocket to make sure I was still safe and to reassure me we would be getting out of this blasted country soon enough. Arriving at our final destination, the sound of crazed women buzzed through the air. Our mission in America was to pull in his declining readership, and no matter how much he hated that his large pool of readers were women, he needed to excite them for his upcoming fiction novels (O’Donnell n.pag.). Stepping up to the podium, he placed the pocket of safe keeping, which I resided in, on the chair next to him and began his “Lesson of Balzac” for the doting women before him. While performing the speech, I have heard him recite so many times, I began to remember the countless hours he spent looking in the mirror rehearsing these very prophetic words. This was his big moment, and for the next several months, we would travel around the New World delivering this speech for clubs and colleges across the nation (O’Donnell n.pag.). Sitting there, my mind wandered at first to the horrors of being in this ghastly territory for such a long while and second to the motives behind this high-profile speaking tour. When Henry’s agent, James Pinker, mentioned the nonsense of Henry visiting America to pull in readership, I was appalled and Henry was reluctant. Then, after intense consideration and discouragement from his brother William, Henry decided he would conquer the adventure and noted it was for purely economic reasons (O’Donnell n.pag.). One late night while he was working on this grandiose speech and I was lying on the dresser, I heard Henry shout “The Lesson of Balzac!” This exclamation caught my attention, and I listened more closely to his muttering. He began devising a speech that would appeal to men, so he could broaden his readership horizon (O’Donnell n.pag.). In this brilliant lecture, Henry would appeal to his readers directly, articulate and defend his own critical values, and create conditions for the appreciation and purchasing of his future work (O’Donnell n.pag.). Yet, this was not the brilliant part. The brilliant part was in his last aha declaration, “The Question of Our Speech!” My master strategically outlined an entire tour of presenting speeches to the American population and saved his most wonderful lesson for last. “The Question of Our Speech” attacked “American civilization by way of American pronunciation” (O’Donnell n.pag.). When I realized this tour was not merely economical, but a criticism of American society and intellect, I became more excited to venture on this journey. Although I did not approve the desire to collect an American fan base since they are unintelligent and lacking in superior culture, I was glad to know it was my own possessor that was going to be the one to attempt to correct their obvious flaws. Finally, someone was going to try and civilize the poor insignificant Americans. As my ever so wonderful master continued with his gripping speech, I began to think of my hatred toward America. It began when Henry James was born on April 15, 1843, in the disgraceful city of New York(Simon n.pag.). His father was a writer and lecturer on philosophical, theological, and social issues in the pursuit to feel fulfilled and productive (Simon n.pag.). This caused the James family to move frequently, jumping Henry from New York to Europe (I still remember our very first stamp), to Rhode Island, and to Massachusetts (Simon n.pag.). Luckily, Henry was primarily “educated in Europe at the request of his father” (Locher 227) in the cities of Geneva, Paris, and Boulogne (Karunaratne n.pag.). However, he was further pushed by his father into an inferior American education at Harvard Law School (Simon n.pag.). We spent much of his youth jumping between civilized and uncivilized cultures making Henry feel lonely and like an outcast. Henry does not appreciate it yet, but his irregular and interrupted education did him wonders, because although he was not a superior academic student, his plethora of reading allowed him to gain insight into life and aid in the writing of his classic novels (Karunaratne n.pag.). Henry had started publishing short stories and book reviews in 1864 (Karunaratne n.pag.) and wrote what totaled to be three volumes of travel writings that he sold to pay for our travels along the way (Epstein n.pag.). To focus on his writing, at the age of 26 (the year 1869), Henry took off to rediscover and explore the always lovely Europe (Simon n.pag.). Unfortunately, we revisited America from 1870 to 1872, but then officially planted our roots in Europe (Simon n.pag.). We roamed between Paris and Italy in 1875 (Karunaratne), but we officially declared England home in 1876 (Locher 227). Henry had moved so much as a child that it was comforting to settle down in England and start an official life. Although I missed the frequent border crossing and stamping of the colorful memorabilia, I was pleased he picked England as our home base. I felt like this was a healthy decision for Henry, so he could finally focus on his writing career and eradicate his Americanism. However, finally rooted in a single destination, James felt like an outsider in England, but also, the growing consumerism in America made him an alien in that country as well (Karunaratne n.pag.). No matter how hard my master tried, he struggled to feel welcomed and at peace in his various environments. This was evident considering he always looked to his acquaintances and friends for inspiration in his literature rather than companions in his personal life (Simon n.pag.). This never bothered me because I love being Henry’s one true best friend who understands him more than anyone in the world. Yet, no matter how much I adore him and he treasures me, our adventures together have not appeared to fill the void in his life. Coming back to reality, I started listening to my commander and chief wrap up the last points of his lesson. With the uproarious applause and what must have been a standing ovation, I hoped the Americans would begin reading his books again so we could return to England soon. After traveling for several months, Henry cleared his throat and began his last and final speech, “The Question of Our Speech.” Placing me on his podium gave me a feeling of importantance and made me feel like his muse. Looking down at me, I hoped I could spark his memory when he needed it. When he needed to remember the next scathing detail on what to condemn the Americans on, I hoped he could glance at me and feel reassured in his presentation and be confident in his next cultural correction. The scornful slam on American pronunciation was music to my ears, and I was so proud of my Henry for never being afraid to distinguish the classlessness of the Americans with the high propriety of the Europeans. He has made these distinctions many a time before, but never as directly as when presenting this speech. Over the years, his novels have clearly shown the differences between the cultures of the New and Old Worlds and have rightfully favored Europe. In 1878, Henry wrote Daisy Miller which examines the “conflict between European and American morals and between experience and innocence” (North n.pag.). The Portrait of a Lady, composed in 1881, examines the “culture clash and expatriate isolation” of the two worlds (North n.pag.; James). Furthermore, in 1881 and 1886, Washington Square and The Bostonians, written respectively, exemplify the shallow and circumscriptive lives of Americans (Simon n.pag.). Written in 1902, Wings of the Dove demonstrates the conflict “between European and American values” (North n.pag.). Lastly, The Golden Bowl was published in 1904 and focuses on the concepts of “marriage, Europe [vs] America, [and] the problematic relationships within families” (North n.pag.). Common themes from his novels have been centered on characters that are morally, emotionally, and intellectually different depending on whether they are American or European and demonstrate either living a moral life, asserting oneself into a teeming reality of other lives, affronting one’s destiny, or striving to be recognized, understood, or accepted by others (Simon n.pag.). Plus, more often than not, Americans emerge from European encounters enlightened and disillusioned (Simon n.pag.) in Henry’s pieces. In his novels, the New World represents brashness, innocence, and provincial values where the Old World projects wealth, aristocracy, and subtlety (North n.pag.). When writing, Henry generally describes the struggle the two cultures have in understanding their differences (North n.pag.). However, I do not see the confusion between the two cultures. As Europeans, we see the flaws and inappropriate nature of the Americans, so it is really the Americans that are too ignorant and uneducated to understand. Tuning back in to Henry’s speech, I listened to him further try to eliminate the ignorance of the Americans on their incorrect pronunciation. After he finished this dazzling speech, we climbed back into the carriage as successful and proud as ever. With the crack of the whip, neigh of the horses, and jerk of the wagon, we were off again to leave the dreaded land of the never lovely America. Hoping he had pulled in the readership he needed, we arrived at the port. Once again, he pulled me out of his breast pocket and the uniformed man gave me a nice firm stamp. Thankfully, this time the stamp said leaving America. “Oh, a one way ticket back to Britain don’t ya say, Mr. James?” inquired the stamper. “Yes, Sir. This has been my final trip to America. No offense sir, but I have no intentions on returning.”
When Henry declared I would never have to be stamped with shameful American ink again, I was overjoyed. I was so overwhelmed with elation that I did not mind being slipped back into the bad coat pocket that I originally traveled overseas in. My pages were bleeding with symbols and ink, and the man at the English port was amazed by my impressive assortment of markings. Following our trip to America, Henry and I spent 11 more years together and did not seem to add quite as many awards of achievement to my pages as we had in the past. No matter how dignified or extraordinary the impressions on my pages are, none of that mattered when Henry claimed British citizenship in 1915 because that was the proudest moment of my life. He renounced his American citizenship and became a British subject (Locher 227) just before he died due to blood pressure in 1916 (Epstein n.pag.). At his funeral, they noted how he “never married” (Simon n.pag.), was a fairly accomplished writer, experienced voyager, unsuccessful playwright (Locher 227), and quite alone (Simon n.pag.), but I do not believe they realized how deep our companionship was… is. Now sitting in his breast pocket, the closest place to his heart, we were locked inside the casket and lowered into the ground. The Pastor and various speakers at his funeral also failed to do his writing enough justice. Agreed, he never attained the popularity he craved (Epstein n.pag.) due to the level of difficulty in his pieces because he firmly believed that the readers should help him with his fiction by making them use intellect to unearth the meaning behind his stories (Simon n.pag.). However, no one understood my beloved Henry as I did. Lying on his dresser every night or sitting either in the good or bad pocket, I watched him struggle, love, interpret, write, and experience. I was with him every step of the way. He carried me on every journey and I know his every secret. This is why I can tell you how personal and well thought out each story he wrote was. Washington Square was an autobiographical piece that centered on an overbearing father and a decision to forgo sexual and romantic attachment (North n.pag.). Like the novel Washington Square, Henry had a controlling father who dictated where Henry went to school and often chose ill-suited matches. Also, Henry disguised his homosexuality by distancing himself from the love of others, so they would not discover his secret. He had intense relationships with younger men, but to mask his sexuality he stuck to traditional relationships in his writing (North n.pag.). He based women on his ideal love for his younger cousin Minney Temple, but characters were imbued with his own sense of discomfort with sex, sexuality, and female unconventionality (North n.pag.). However, his piece The Bostonians was the only exception to his rule of tradition and began to let his homoerotic side shine through (North n.pag.) and demonstrate his repressed and cowardly homosexual nature (Epstein n.pag.). The Golden Bowl explores the ideas of problems within families. It epitomizes the struggle Henry had with his family. On the ship, I would hear Henry and his eldest brother William talk. William was always trying to one up Henry and forced Henry to live in his shadow; however, whether in or out of the shadow Henry was always his mother’s favorite (Simon n.pag.). Although Henry was jealous of the attention his brother received, they continuously kept in touch during their lives (Epstein n.pag.). Everyday I would rest upon the dresser and hear Henry murmur the responses he was crafting for William and the letters William conjured in reply. . His letter writing technique shown through in the novel The Portrait of a Lady by developing the style stream of consciousness while telling the story through various character perspectives (North n.pag.; James). The “complex relationships with his siblings or to the sometimes dogmatic nature of his upbringing” dogmatic nature of his upbringing: is presented in The Turn of the Screw (North n.pag.). Also, remembering our last and final trip to America, not only did the “Lesson of Balzac” and “The Question of our Speech” try to pull in popularity among readers while depicting cultural and intellectual American oddities, it told the story of Henry’s reeducation in the American marketplace (O’Donnell n.pag.). Being so close to my master’s heart throughout the years has made me truly understand him and his own characterization along with the ones of his fictional characters. My Henry James was a man of many worlds who called upon his interpretations, feelings, experiences, and opinions accumulated from his travels to inspire the creation and thematic elements of his detailed literary masterpieces. Completely covered with dirt now, the casket is trapped in the ground never to be unearthed. Here I sit in my rightful spot within the breast pocket of my master’s coat. Close to his heart I am always with him, always near him, and always his dearest possession. Our time has finally come to an end. My pages are fully and utterly marked with room for only one more stamp, but that one I will never acquire. My dearest European Henry James will have to travel to heaven without me. That is the only place he will ascend to without my accompaniment or required stamp of approval.

Works Cited
Epstein, Joseph. "A Hero of Culture." New Criterion. June 2000: 12-20. SIRS
Renaissance. Web. 08 May 2012.
<http://sks.sirs.com/>
James, Henry. The Portrait of a Lady. Cambridge World Classics, 2011. Print.
Karunaratne, R.S. "Henry James (1843-1916)." Sunday Observer (Colombo, Sri Lanka).
09 Jan. 2000: 24. SIRS Renaissance. Web. 06 May 2012.
<http://sks.sirs.com/>
Locher. “James, Henry 1843-1916.” Contemporary Authors. Volume 104. 1982. 227. Print.
North, Anna. "Henry James." Bookmarks (Issue 21). March/April 2006: 20-25. SIRS
Renaissance. Web. 06 May 2012.
<http://sks.sirs.com/>
O'Donnell, Heather. "My Own Funny Little Lecture Boom": Henry James's American
Performance." Henry James Review. Spring 2003: 133-145. SIRS
Renaissance. Web. 06 May 2012.
<http://sks.sirs.com/>North, Anna. "Henry James." Bookmarks (Issue 21). March/April 2006: 20-25. SIRS Renaissance. Web. 06 May<http://sks.sirs.com/>
Simon, Linda. "A Miraculous Enlargement of Experience: A Profile of Henry
James." World & I. April 2001: 260-265. SIRS Renaissance. Web. 06 May 2012.
<http://sks.sirs.com/>…...

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...CHARACTERISTICS: the referential ambiguity in pronouns; the end-linking, which shows the insecurity of someone who never considers anything finished (but nothing is ever finished in Jame’s world, there’s always some word, some idea at the end of the period to repeat. James revised his works again and again after serial publication, for new editions… He is one of the most autobiographical of the great fiction writers, and when he makes his characters projections of himself, the result is ambiguity. He doesn’t use the actual events of his life in his writings but his mental life, his thoughts, conflicts and emotions, since James’s style is personal and subjective. This is clear and precise in his earlier fiction and more intricate and elaborate in his later work. James progressed from a traditional language to a highly personal one. The content in his prose is concerned with understanding and with emotional appreciation derived from experience. At times the objective world almost seems to have disappeared from his later novels. He wished to represent that truth with beauty, not abstractly or in mere statements, but vividly, imposing on it the form of the imagination, the acutest relevant sensibility. James insisted that novels must have charm even when they deal with dispiriting objects. THEMES: the desire to live, to achieve a fullness of consciousness, which permits the richest and most exquisite response to the vibrations of life. This is also associated......

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James

...there always are.) · Recruit participants who match your target profile for pilot studies. This means that any feedback — about the study or about the site being tested— will be more relevant. In a pinch, recruiting someone who doesn’t quite fit the profile is typically better than not running a pilot test at all, but the results from those sessions then would not be applicable in the final study. · Does running a pilot study take extra time? Of course. Materials need to be ready earlier, extra participants need to be recruited, and time needs to be scheduled to run the sessions. The payoff, however, is that the final study will run more smoothly, making it easier to get the results that matter to your team and, ultimately, your product. JAMES [->0] - http://www.nngroup.com/courses/measuring-ux/ [->1] - http://www.nngroup.com/articles/quantitative-studies-how-many-users/ [->2] - http://www.nngroup.com/articles/parallel-and-iterative-design/ [->3] - http://www.nngroup.com/articles/task-scenarios-usability-testing/...

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Henry

...and make indecent jokes. They make foul comparisons when they are speaking regarding the English ‘carrion’ (IV.2.38), meaning dead meat. King Henry speaks in prose when he is in disguise and talking to the soldiers as he is presenting himself as a regular man. He also uses prose when he is speaking to Katherine, on the contrary this is to emphasis that he is a plain-spoken soldier and lacks fancy and extravagant words with which to court her. Speaking in blank verse and elevated language would have made Henry appear like a gratified conqueror somewhat than a suitor, exceptionally when the princess has little English. The verse is normally in lines of ten syllables. These are acknowledged as iambic pentameters and are based on a pattern of five pairs of syllables, each pair being made up of an unstressed followed by a stressed syllable. An example of this verse is; ‘For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; be he ne’er bile,’ (IV.3.61-2) This is the fundamental pattern however Shakespeare does not stick severely to this as it would become obvious and monotonous. Occasionally he uses a pair of rhyming lines; this is recognized as a rhyming couplet. This feature is often used to mark and signal the end of a scene. We consider prose to be our everyday speech. This can fluctuate a great deal. When Henry is in disguise and is speaking to the soldiers, he talks in prose but still it is rich and well-structured. Fluellen speaks in humorous......

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