One of Henry James'' specialties is the longish short story that delves into philosophical questions via detailed character studies, and ""Eugene Pickering"" is a perfect example of this. In it, James compares and contrasts two archetypes: a bookish scholar who has remained largely sheltered for most of his life and a streetwise ""doer"" who is deeply engaged with the world around him. Which of these approaches represents the best way to live? As always .
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page (ebrary, viewed August 19, 2014)