The Middle Years

“This was the pang that had been sharpest during the last few years—the sense of ebbing time, of shrinking opportunity; and now he felt not so much that his last chance was going as that it was gone indeed.”

Henry James, “The Middle Years.” Henry James: Complete Stories 1892-1898, ed. John Hollander and David Bromwich (New York: The Library of America, 1996), 337.

Dencombe can be seen reflecting on his life within this passage. He seems to feel that his life has hit its peak and is now declining. Does he feel hopeless or is he just becoming more aware of his situation?