The Portrait Of A Lady Character Analysis

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The Portrait of a Lady by: Elif Bilican The book is called "The Portrait of a Lady" by Henry James. The book is about series of events which occurred to a young woman named Isabel Archer. After her rich uncle dies, she inherits a fortune. Under the influence of her beauty, her richness and her cleverness, she has a lot of suitors. According to Isabel, she should be an independent young lady who travels the world. As she encounters with Madame Merle, Madame Merle allures Isabel to marry with her sinister friend Gilbert Osmond. Isabel steps into a sorrowful marriage which she cannot end because of her pride, sense of social duty and partially because of the love for her stepdaughter. The main idea of the book is if you give up the permanent things you value the most for someone/something because of temporary thoughts/feelings you are obliged to be miserable for rest of your life. Henry James numerously points out that Isabel cares a lot for her freedom and she rejects her loved suitor Caspar Goodwood just because she wants to be a free woman. As the story goes people around warms up Isabel to the idea of marrying but she chooses the most sordid person she has ever known without noticing it. Also, Henry James has made good deal of…show more content…
Caspar comes to Gardencourt as soon as possible to question Isabel about her act. Isabel manages to repel him but as he leaves she starts crying. Another scene would be when Ralph and Lord Warburton first saw Isabel and thought that they she would be an interesting woman to be with. My favorite one is at the beginning Ralph had mentioned that Isabel would see ghosts of Gardencourt if she had suffered enough. Isabel saw a ghost of Ralph at the night that Ralph died towards the end of the novel indicating that Isabel had been suffering a lot. I think this is a nice metaphor Henry James

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