The Beast in the Jungle is a great story but dreadfully over written in my opinion. The unspoken secret, from what I gather, is that Marcher will never love a woman or "consummate his love" and other critics may say it's just the beast in the closet and James is just referring to his hidden homosexuality. I'm starting to be bothered by some of James' male characters because they all seem to be pompous and inconsiderate and just so full of themselves. This character especially. If you look at the story with out the homosexual lens it just looks like a man who is so focused on how eccentric and artistic he is that he can never truly love a woman. What I find is odd though is that she knows his secret the whole time but still remains his friend. She must have truly loved him. It is a heartbreaking scene to have him fall on her tomb but it was his choice to live in such perpetual loneliness.
The Jolly Corner is definitely an example of something that could frighten everybody into doing what the ghost of themselves says is "right" or what they should have done. What is ambiguous is if Brydon will actually change. James writing is especially suspenseful in this tale. I fond myself paging through it faster than any of the others that we have read. How does Alice know Brydon is in danger? It kind of puts a post-modern twist on the story where we just never know what is real. Is the losing of the fingers having to do with not being able to write anymore? And is that the most horrifying part for James?