View Full Version : The pupil

06-18-2008, 12:27 PM
I like "The pupil" very much. I haven't read a lot James' novels but I noticed a few resemblance: in all his novels there are a lot of description of thoughts, feelings, excellent psychological portraits pessimistic message and sad ending. And I think that all of characters appearing in his works are very interesting and are remembered for a long time.

In this novel I'm fond of one character especially: a young Morgan. His unhappiness reminds me a bit Pansy form “Portrait of a Lady”. Besides Pansy and Morgan were both completely different from their family. But whereas Morgan was ashamed for his family, Pansy loved her father and was attached to him.

The other interesting plot in that short story was a relationship Morgan-Pemberton. For me, having a good tutor(so other that his family) was only good thing which happened to Morgan. And I think that Pemberton has learn a lot form his young pupil. What was strange for me: I read somewhere that a lot of people think between a boy and his tutor was pedophile attachment, but I can't agree with that.

In conclusion I can only say(write) that I recommend it and liked very much.

06-18-2008, 06:28 PM
He is a little similar to Pansy, isnt he?
I've always really liked this story; the opening discription of Mrs. Maureen makes me grin every time; and I love the ironic echo at the end about 'men of the world'. I also failed to perceive much in the way of a pedophilic attachment, though I do recall one section that kind of makes me wonder... Perhaps I'll have to read it again. :)
If you want a happy ending in James, you might try 'The Jolly Corner'.

06-19-2008, 06:30 PM
If you want a happy ending in James, you might try 'The Jolly Corner'.

I'll read it, thanks for recommendation :) It's good to know that someone like to read James too, 'cause a lot of people complains about his complex and long sentences and boredom in his works. I can partly agree with that, but I think that it definitely worth to read his works. His writings is very valuable and didn't lose its accuracy in the observations. I've read some previous threads, and you seem to be an expert of James, so let me ask you: what others his works you can recommend? (Except of“The pupil” I read Daisy Miller, The Liar, Portrait of a lady and The Beast in the Jungle). Thanks in advance :)

07-10-2008, 04:34 PM
The Sacred Fount, which I must advise you to stay away from.
Let me know what you think of 'The Jolly Corner'. It's a strange one, but I found it pretty neat.
Hope that helps. :)

I have to defend The Sacred Fount. The unnamed narrator has rather prurient interests, and while initially his surmise about the intimacy of Gilbert Long and Grace Brissenden may seem plausible, the point of the story is that he makes too many assumptions based on his otherwise unreliable observations, which makes him untrustworthy to the reader, much like the governess in The Turn of The Screw.

James turns perception on its head in all of his best works. In Portrait it is what Isabel cannot see; this is what makes the story, which Ralph's father bluntly stipulates on his deathbed--that giving her her freedom will make her vulnerable to fortune hunters. Some of this is also in play in GB. Maggie's innocence and Charlotte's deceit and manipulation are in continual contest, and the end of the novel doesn't really allow you to draw any comfortable conclusions, and so on.

10-25-2008, 10:45 AM
It really strains non-native speakers like me to understand James' works. But I still love to read The Pupil though details often fail me...