An analysis of the aspern papers by henry james

One thing I have yet to grasp properly about it is its mythological aspects. Fear of marriage This is one of many Henry James stories which features a bachelor, often middle-aged, threatened by the prospect of single women with marriage in mind.

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However, his desire for the letters draws him back to the house again. One day, after returning home in an odd hour, he meets Tina in the garden. He is ready to marry her. Later, Juliana offers to sell a portrait miniature of Aspern to the narrator for an exorbitant price.

Miss Tina is more of a hero of the story, having realized that her attempt to coerce marriage from him was wrong, and more importantly having burned the letters that were at the root of such an unhealthy fascination.

An analysis of the aspern papers by henry james

He does so when it seems that Juliana is asleep, but Juliana catches him in the act. Juliana and Tita are highly reclusive. She doesn't mention Jeffrey Aspern's name, but the narrator still believes she possesses some of his letters. Motifs The Garden Unbeknownst to the narrator, 19th century Venice proves to be a rather un-eco-friendly environment. He at first views the idea as morally repugnant, but he ultimately gives into temptation and searches the room for the letters. She does not agree to take the letters from Juliana and give them away - in fact it would mean that she betrayed her aunt. One day, after returning home in an odd hour, he meets Tina in the garden. Prest , who is confided in his plans, exclaims: "Oh, first have a look at her! And Juliana he does not see even once. The story unwinds into the double climax of Juliana's discovery of the narrator about to break into her desk, and Miss Tita's revelation that she has destroyed the papers. Tita proposes marriage to the narrator, saying that if they were married, Tita could show him the letters without moral compunction. The Aspern Papers has a double-climax, something not very common in most stories. Normally, a garden may symbolize growth or puritya place where, if cultivated properly, life and hope may flourish.

She doesn't mention Jeffrey Aspern's name, but the narrator still believes she possesses some of his letters. Surely this is also the problem with biography-writing in general: a whole lot of theories, not enough evidence, and the people who could tell us more are usually long gone?

Major themes[ edit ] James a very private man examines the conflicts involved when a biographer seeks to pry into the intimate life of his subject.

Henry james stories

The play has been revived a number of times since. It was subsequently revised, with the addition of a Preface and changes including "Miss Tita" being renamed to "Miss Tina", for the New York Edition. Hero solaces Tina and asks her about the plans for future. New York: Penguin Classics, Tita proposes marriage to the narrator, saying that if they were married, Tita could show him the letters without moral compunction. The only people inside are Juliana, her middle-aged grand-niece Tita, and their maidservant Olimpia. As he eventually discovers, not only will the garden prove to be a money sink, but it will also fail in charming his adversary Miss Bordereau. Miss Tita had denied the existence of any such papers in a letter to the narrator and his publishing partner, but he believes she was dissembling on instructions from Juliana.

Miss Tina tells him that he can have the letters if he agrees to marry her. And Juliana he does not see even once.

She hissed with fury: "vile scribbler! The hero asks her about his letters. She calls him out on his intentions before collapsing from her illness, and the narrator decides to run. He rushes out of the house and cannot get over it: it appears that he unwittingly inspired a poor woman of hope, which he cannot realize. He refuses the concept of marrying her, but eventually changes his mind. She agrees to make a price lower, but the hero does not want to pay for the six months ahead, and promises to pay monthly. The more I try to analyse The Aspern Papers, the more peculiar the tale appears. She bandages her eyes and wears a green eye shield — which is very significantly removed on the occasion of her catching out the Narrator as he attempts to pry into her room at night. The money she intends to Tina, who adores her and devotedly takes care of her. Julian offers the hero to continue his staying in their house, but he has already spent so much money, that cannot afford paying so much for the rooms anymore. Is it actually condemnable to hide, and even destroy, information that might shed light on biographical mysteries? But the papers he seeks are private communications between Aspern and Juliana Bordereau, which might contain information she does not wish to reveal — either about herself or Aspern.

It is unclear to him whether Juliana has discerned his true motives. The awkward and naive Miss Tina, on the other hand, trusts and likes him a bit too much.

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He rushes out of the house and cannot get over it: it appears that he unwittingly inspired a poor woman of hope, which he cannot realize. In the end, he briefly sees another side to Miss Tina, but the very next moment she returns to her usual drab self, and the moment only serves to underscore his blindness. Perhaps biographical mysteries can only be solved by those who are consumed by their subject to the point that they have neither? The narrator has a conscience, albeit a weak one, and a modicum of self-respect. Later, the narrator informs Juliana that he is a literary critic, editor, and historian. Miss Tita is ashamed of her marriage proposal to the narrator, but James implies that she does exactly the right thing by depriving him of the papers. Michael Gorra. Pages However, the two women in their turn spy on him in order to uncover his true motives and intentions. The story first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and was then published in book form later the same year. Miss Tina is more of a hero of the story, having realized that her attempt to coerce marriage from him was wrong, and more importantly having burned the letters that were at the root of such an unhealthy fascination.

Obsessed with the idea to get the letters, he is willing to woo her niece, in order to achieve his goal.

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