The Beast in the Jungle is one of James' finest short novels touching upon such universal themes as loneliness, fate, love and death. The story can be interpreted as a confession or parable about James' own life. He never married and possibly never experienced a consummated sexual relationship. Although he did enjoy a thorough experience of aesthetic creativity, it is possible that he still regretted what he called the essential loneliness of his life. The parable of the protagonist, John Marcher and his peculiar destiny speaks about the worth and meaning of human life.