Henry James (1843-1916)
James had closely examined the then trend of expatriation in Europe. By the time he entered the field of literary writing many Americans were fascinated by Europe. For those Americans who lived a life of expatriation, the American culture was lowly, ill-bred, vulgar and utterly mechanical America failed to satisfy their intense hunger for artistry and aesthetics. They were under the impression that their country America restricts genius's intense passion and pursuit for artistic and aesthetic activities. They were of the opinion that life in the US is not in favor for the cultivation of artistic talent. They blamed the delicate and the sensitive development of creative talent. That is why those who wanted to be a cosmopolitan artist started living in Paris, the center of Europe. Almost all American geniuses around the turn of the 19th century were greatly bored by their native culture and inversely fascinated by the glamour of Europe. In front of the bewitching glamour of the European aesthetical culture of life most of the future American writers began to surrender. They ridiculed the mechanical and parochial hollowness of American culture.
The European influence in different fields in America has highly been evaluated by James. Almost all the Americans who felt the sense of unbecomingness with regard to the European cultures is one of the matter of James consciousness which is critically evaluated. There appeared the clash of American innocence and inexperience with European maturity and experience. Stretcher's continuous act of changing to European values and the cosmopolitan outlook ultimately achieves the measurement by which the gap between two worlds can be defined in the novel. It is James most striking aspects of consciousness.
James has been appeared in the position that he forcefully dominated to the temptation of the European way of living. This sort of European influence has extremely dominated American aspects of art, literature, society, life, politics etc. So this sort of American position in forms of European influence has been diplomatically analyzed in the novel, which is the matter of James central consciousness. He has rejected this sort of European domination. That is why he creates the myth of European fantasy and puts it besides the crucible of American reality.
So the center of consciousness in The Ambassadors possesses the concern of international relations in terms of life, culture, art, literature, politics etc. In James's novel The Ambassadors, how the European influence has culturally, socially, politically, economically, and artistically influenced the innocent position of their own way of the life of American has diplomatically and skillfully evaluated through the novel. So, Henry James's central consciousness is related to the international concern in different fields in his novel The Ambassadors.
Introduction of The Ambassadors
Strategy in James's The Ambassadors
The Narrative Technique in The Ambassadors
Non Dramatic Elements in The Ambassadors
Juxtaposition of Continental and American Culture