What Isabel Wants

22 Jan

Well, just like in Return of the Native where it was rather spelled out for us what Eustacia wants, Portrait of a Lady seems to let us know quite clearly what Isabel wants in Chapter 4 – “She had a desire to leave the past behind her and, as she said to herself, to begin afresh.”    We get another clue in Chapter 12 with a direct quote from Isabel – “If there’s a thing in the world I’m fond of…it’s my personal independence.”   It seems as though these things are starting to jump out at me.   Practice makes perfect?    Or maybe Henry James is just misleading us.   Time will tell.  


Posted by on January 22, 2013 in The Blog, The Portrait of a Lady



3 responses to “What Isabel Wants

  1. Adriana @ Classical Quest

    January 22, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I have a list going in the back of my book entitled “What Miss Archer Wants”. Reading the novel with this in mind has been quite amusing. (She wants the door shut, she wants Ralph’s dog, she wants to be left alone, etc.)

  2. dangermom

    January 22, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Hee hee, she wants the door shut…I tend to think that Isabel wants to enjoy Europe without being constantly nagged to marry somebody or other. But that may just be what *I* would want!


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