- Term Papers and Free Essays

Henry James

Essay by   •  October 30, 2010  •  709 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,687 Views

Essay Preview: Henry James

Report this essay
Page 1 of 3

Henry James was born on April 15, 1843 in New York City into a wealthy family. From an early age James had read the classics of English, American, French and German literature and Russian classics in translation. In his childhood, he traveled back and forth between Europe and America. He studied with tutors in Geneva, London, Paris, Bologna and Bonn. At the age of 19 he briefly attended Harvard Law School, but preferred reading literature to studying law. James published his first short story, "A Tragedy of Errors" two years later, and devoted himself to literature. James suffered a stroke on December 2, 1915. He died three months later in Rye on February 28, 1916.

In his Essay "The Art of Fiction" Henry James speaks through his character Walter Bessant about twelve points dealing with how fiction is an art. Three of these points which I found to be important were how fiction can be portrayed as a form of art but he explains also that fiction has no set form in which a book can be written. He views fiction as being more artistic than paintings and he also believes that fiction is not to be judged by morality like a painting might be. Henry James states "A novel is in its broadest definition a personal impression of life; that, to begin with, constitutes its value, which is greater or less according to the intensity of the impression. But there will be no intensity at all, and therefore no value, unless there is freedom to feel and say."(P.1142). This personal impression of life that Henry James is speaking about here is what is portrayed in Kate Chopins' slice of life short story "A Pair of Silk Stockings"

This short story is based in early to mid 1900's in a average town. In this story Mrs. Sommers is a middle aged mother of a handful of children, and has lack of joy anymore after her husband's death. She is small framed with ragged old clothes and very thoughtful and caring mother who always puts the children's needs ahead of her own. Her children are the only thing that has consumed her mind in several years until unexpectedly she finds fifteen dollars. In comparison to the setting of the book, fifteen dollars was considered to be a large sum of money, about the same of about a hundred dollars in today's economic standards. Even before Mrs. Sommers starts her shopping spree, she prioritizes



Download as:   txt (3.8 Kb)   pdf (66.8 Kb)   docx (9.9 Kb)  
Continue for 2 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2010, 10). Henry James. Retrieved 10, 2010, from

"Henry James" 10 2010. 2010. 10 2010 <>.

"Henry James.", 10 2010. Web. 10 2010. <>.

"Henry James." 10, 2010. Accessed 10, 2010.