Reviews The Real Thing Duane The depressing tale of a husband and wife, former artist models, past their prime but still believing they are the "real thing" as models go, and an artist who tries to use them as sitters, but realizes it's a lost cause. James excellent writing and character development saves the day for this otherwise bleak story. I've never seen characters like them so brilliantly sketched in a short story of only twenty or so pages before. By the time it was winding up, I was completely pulled in, amazed that an immense pity had welled up from deep inside me for these lu
Plot summary[ edit ] The narrator, an unnamed illustrator and aspiring painter, hires a faded genteel couple, the Monarchs, as models, after they have lost most of their money and must find some line of work. They are the "real thing" in that they perfectly represent the aristocratic type, but they prove inflexible for the painter's work.
He comes to rely much more on two lower-class subjects who are nevertheless more capable, Oronte, an Italian, and Miss Churm, a lower-class Englishwoman. The illustrator finally has to get rid of the Monarchs, especially after his friend and fellow artist Jack Hawley criticizes the work in which the Monarchs are represented.
Hawley says that the pair has hurt the narrator's art, perhaps permanently. In the final line of the story the narrator says he is "content to have paid the price—for the memory.
Major themes[ edit ] James plays with the exact meaning of "the real thing" throughout the story's plot, which was suggested to him by George du Maurier. The Monarchs may be the real thing when it comes to country-house visits and drawing-room conversation, but Oronte and Miss Churm are just as much the genuine article for professional modeling.
Late in the story the Monarchs desperately try to keep their jobs by actually becoming servants to the narrator, Miss Churm, and Oronte, in a superb example of Jamesian chiasmus. Commentators have noted a bit of fantasy wish-fulfillment in the tale. The painter is hired to illustrate a series of novels by "the rarest of the novelists—who, long neglected by the multitudinous vulgar and dearly prized by the attentive Critical evaluation[ edit ] Critics have generally praised what one of them called "one of James neatest tales James does not make the parable into an arid demonstration of a debating point.
The characters all come alive as fully individualized creations. The incompetent Monarchs are sympathetic, and the narrator himself is memorable for his increasingly desperate but ultimately futile attempts to help them. Frederick Ungar Publishing Co.The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Real Thing and Other Tales, by Henry James This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.
Henry James's "The Real Thing" seems to see through social artifice, or at least, to see that appearances may not suit one's idea of what appearances should be.
The story concerns people's perceptions, in a shallow way, but deeply, given the context. A well written piece/5(). Henry James's "The Real Thing" seems to see through social artifice, or at least, to see that appearances may not suit one's idea of what appearances should be.
The story concerns people's perceptions, in a shallow way, but deeply, given the context/5. Aug 04, · In The Real Thing, written by Henry James, artifice, regarding art, is a glorified representation of reality and, therefore, possesses a greater quality of realism to it than reality itself.
James, here, alludes to the factor of malleability in many separate occasions throughout the vetconnexx.coms: 1. Before I read this summary/analysis of this work I read others. Of the four I have read this is the one I liked the most.
I have just read the work (The Real Thing), and because I am not an English native speaker I have problems in understanding literary prose sometimes thus I check reviews like this one to check what I understood and what I did not.
May 04, · Henry James's "The Real Thing" seems to see through social artifice, or at least, to see that appearances may not suit one's idea of what appearances should be.
The story concerns people's perceptions, in a shallow way, but deeply, given the context/5().