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Word Count: 650
In Henry James The Real Thing he explores the idea of ones responsibility to others The story begins when a couple genteel in appearance walk into an artists studio The artist taking them at face value assumes they are there to have their portraits done and imagines the wealth and reputation that could come to him Through an awkward conversation the artist realizes the couple is actually seeking employment Neither has any experience but attempt to convince him that they could be useful as the real thing in illustrations of their kind of people The artist reflects on his dislike of amateurs and his preference of the representation over the genuine article He also admits to himself that he has all the models he needs His admiration of the couple however blinds him to his logic and he agrees to let them sit for him but promises nothing The artist soon comes to the realization that they are the real thing but always the same thing and as such are unsuitable to the work The artist is still determined however to do something with them The artist is then forced to face reality The artists friend Jack Hawley bluntly tells him that the couple wont do and that the artists work drops to pieces with them The artist then hears from the publisher of an upcoming series that they will not use his work in the series unless it improves The artist has no choice for his own sake but to use other models for the illustrations Eventually the artist has to tell the husband the Major that he will not be needed as the artists servant is to sit for him The Major balks and the artist already under pressure declares I cant be ruined for you The artist feels guilty for being so harsh and assumes he will not see the couple again He is wrong The couple returns to
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