(EBOOK/EPUB) [The Portrait of a Lady]

  • Kindle Edition
  • 345
  • The Portrait of a Lady
  • Henry James
  • en
  • 24 December 2020
  • null

Henry James À 6 free download

free read The Portrait of a Lady ð PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Er Isabel is beset with numerous marriage proposals that threaten her hopes of freedom Taking an interest in her outlook on life Ralph convinces his wealthy father to leave part of his fortune to Isabel supposedly to help her maintain her self sufficiency However Isabel uickly comes to recognize the dividing line between her American values of freedom and independence and the rigid European social values Conseuently Isabel must reap what she has sown as her life takes an unplanned route away from her initial naïve expectations and instead leads her to a harsh reality triggered by disillusion. Henry James The Portrait of a Lady is considered to be one of the first American novels to make full use of social and psychological realism as European authors such as Flaubert Balzac and George Eliot were already practicing in their works Considered to be his biggest accomplishment along with The Ambassadors Portrait added Isabel Archer to the company of great fictional heroines as the likes of Elizabeth Bennet Becky Sharp and Jane Eyre and in a century marked by unsatisfied bourgeois wives and adultery in fiction Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina come to mind it was a breath of fresh air to accompany and delve into James protagonist s thoughts and inner feelingsStarting with a very slow pace the narrative contains long and elaborate descriptions It feels James is painting a richly detailed picture for every scene As we arrive in Gardencourt the Touchett s English country estate where our story opens and closes we encounter Mr Touchett his son Ralph and a family friend called Lord Warburton Among other things they discuss how Mrs Lydia Touchett is in America and will bring along her niece called Isabel Archer to visit EuropeIsabel is a young woman from Albany New York who accepts her aunt s offer to initially stay with her in Gardencourt and then later travel through the continent eager to explore and be enriched by the places she s never been before and experience life at its fullest Upon her arrival we begin to learn what her ideals and plans are along with her hopes and dreamsSince the beginning her cousin Ralph seems to have been as curious as we were to see what Isabel would make of her life In a way we almost could say Ralph was conducting an experiment Isabel had an independent mind she was emotionally and psychologically self sufficient didn t seem inclined to get married for the time being which was different for a girl of her age at the time She was thirsty for knowledge first and foremost I don t want to begin life by marrying Isabel asserts to Ralph There are other things a woman can do But without money how far could she go with her unattached ways She was probably bound to eventually getting married Her cousin then arranged it and she became financially independent as well Certain that he was doing Isabel a good deed Ralph convinced his father who was very fond of Isabel at his deathbed to leave her an impressive amount of money Now she had all that was necessary to decide her destiny without any barriers or anyone to hold her back The experiment was onAfter traveling for over a year the now wealthy Isabel Archer is in Florence where her aunt lives A friend she greatly admired Madame Merle Mrs Touchett s close friend who Isabel got acuainted with some time after she arrived in Gardencourt skillfully introduces her to Gilbert Osmond an American expatriate widower who s lived in Italy for years Isabel is very impressed with his refinement and intelligence and thinks of him as having a beautiful mind Despite her family and friends complaints about this relationship Isabel after having declined two previous suitors accepts Osmond s marriage proposalThe story then jumps in time and there s a narrative shift for a bit James leaves Isabel and Osmond in the background while he focuses on Pansy Osmond Osmond s young daughter and Edward Rosier Isabel s childhood friend who s in love with Miss Osmond and is trying to get Madame Merle to help him marry his darling girl Through their story we still have glimpses of Isabel s life and we learn that she s been now married for two years and that she lost a son who died six months after his birth Isabel and her husband seems to disagree about everything and we learn she s unhappyHenry James who once conducted a very slow paced almost contemplative narrative gradually started to accelerate it adding drama and a sense of urgency to his words Right after an unsettling argument with Osmond one evening Isabel now feeling distraught than ever starts pondering and analyzing the many circumstances she finds herself in The author immerses us in a deeply personal and intensely psychological account of her thoughts and emotions Among the things Isabel reflected upon for a long time were the conclusion that her husband must hate her and the realization that Osmond had gained total control of her the once independent and strong witted woman was now a subjugated spirit the woman who once seemed to be against doing what was expected of her was now conforming to her husband s decisions When the clock struck four she got up she was going to bed at last for the lamp had long since gone out and the candles burned down to their socketsComplicating things even further is the revelation Countess Gemini Osmond s sister makes to Isabel of a long time secret that leaves her completely shaken This only comes to deteriorate even her relationship with Gilbert Now fully aware of the situation she was put in through manipulations and schemes Isabel is faced with a big decision her cousin Ralph is dying in Gardencourt and her dictatorial husband is completely against her visiting England Showing the old Isabel may still be somewhere locked inside of herself she confronts her husband and leaves to be with her cousin The Portrait of a Lady through its length presents a number of opposites but the most striking ones are the battles between freedom vs destiny and affection vs betrayal In the book s final moments we witness that Isabel is offered a way to go back to where and to whom she was when she first came to Europe The world s all before us and the world s very big she is told She could once again explore life and fill herself with hopes but declined the opportunity The world s very small she answered With a much talked about conclusion that has both fascinated and infuriated another battle of opposites readers James ending remains open to a lot of interpretationsIt s disturbing to watch an unhappily married woman with an opportunity to leave it all behind and the means to do it simply not choosing freedom Did Osmond finally accomplish to shatter her spirit Another theory is that maybe marriage was an unbreakable vow and she felt she had a moral duty to her husband Or was she trying to be protective of Pansy who was mirroring Isabel s unhappiness and was another example of a woman who seemed to think that she was obliged to follow other s decisions even if it made her unhappy and determined to stand by her side and not let the same happen to her step daughter Innumerable possibilitiesJames has been known for structuring his novels with a series of circles surrounding a center With that in mind a hopeful interpretation of the book s ending is that in order to complete that circle Isabel must return to her husband properly end her marriage so she could once again be able to start anew and free her spirit once and for allRating for such an interesting and comprehensive analysis of freedom human consciousness and ultimately existentialism 4 stars Instructors Resource Guide with Test Bank for Criminal Justice Today uickly comes to recognize the dividing line between her American values of freedom and independence and the rigid European social values Conseuently Isabel must reap what she has sown as her life takes an Tryst unplanned route away from her initial naïve expectations and instead leads her to a harsh reality triggered by disillusion. Henry James The Portrait of a Lady is considered to be one of the first American novels to make full Ruining Angel Ruined #15 use of social and psychological realism as European authors such as Flaubert Balzac and George Eliot were already practicing in their works Considered to be his biggest accomplishment along with The Ambassadors Portrait added Isabel Archer to the company of great fictional heroines as the likes of Elizabeth Bennet Becky Sharp and Jane Eyre and in a century marked by The End Zone unsatisfied bourgeois wives and adultery in fiction Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina come to mind it was a breath of fresh air to accompany and delve into James protagonist s thoughts and inner feelingsStarting with a very slow pace the narrative contains long and elaborate descriptions It feels James is painting a richly detailed picture for every scene As we arrive in Gardencourt the Touchett s English country estate where our story opens and closes we encounter Mr Touchett his son Ralph and a family friend called Lord Warburton Among other things they discuss how Mrs Lydia Touchett is in America and will bring along her niece called Isabel Archer to visit EuropeIsabel is a young woman from Albany New York who accepts her aunt s offer to initially stay with her in Gardencourt and then later travel through the continent eager to explore and be enriched by the places she s never been before and experience life at its fullest Upon her arrival we begin to learn what her ideals and plans are along with her hopes and dreamsSince the beginning her cousin Ralph seems to have been as curious as we were to see what Isabel would make of her life In a way we almost could say Ralph was conducting an experiment Isabel had an independent mind she was emotionally and psychologically self sufficient didn t seem inclined to get married for the time being which was different for a girl of her age at the time She was thirsty for knowledge first and foremost I don t want to begin life by marrying Isabel asserts to Ralph There are other things a woman can do But without money how far could she go with her Breaking from Your Parents unattached ways She was probably bound to eventually getting married Her cousin then arranged it and she became financially independent as well Certain that he was doing Isabel a good deed Ralph convinced his father who was very fond of Isabel at his deathbed to leave her an impressive amount of money Now she had all that was necessary to decide her destiny without any barriers or anyone to hold her back The experiment was onAfter traveling for over a year the now wealthy Isabel Archer is in Florence where her aunt lives A friend she greatly admired Madame Merle Mrs Touchett s close friend who Isabel got acuainted with some time after she arrived in Gardencourt skillfully introduces her to Gilbert Osmond an American expatriate widower who s lived in Italy for years Isabel is very impressed with his refinement and intelligence and thinks of him as having a beautiful mind Despite her family and friends complaints about this relationship Isabel after having declined two previous suitors accepts Osmond s marriage proposalThe story then jumps in time and there s a narrative shift for a bit James leaves Isabel and Osmond in the background while he focuses on Pansy Osmond Osmond s young daughter and Edward Rosier Isabel s childhood friend who s in love with Miss Osmond and is trying to get Madame Merle to help him marry his darling girl Through their story we still have glimpses of Isabel s life and we learn that she s been now married for two years and that she lost a son who died six months after his birth Isabel and her husband seems to disagree about everything and we learn she s Les roses de septembre unhappyHenry James who once conducted a very slow paced almost contemplative narrative gradually started to accelerate it adding drama and a sense of Drug Use and the Alcohol Dilemma urgency to his words Right after an Reisen in Canada Und Durch Die Staaten Von New York Und Pennsylvanien unsettling argument with Osmond one evening Isabel now feeling distraught than ever starts pondering and analyzing the many circumstances she finds herself in The author immerses The Techniues of Modern Hitting us in a deeply personal and intensely psychological account of her thoughts and emotions Among the things Isabel reflected Keystone Battlewagon USS Pennsylvania Bb 38 upon for a long time were the conclusion that her husband must hate her and the realization that Osmond had gained total control of her the once independent and strong witted woman was now a subjugated spirit the woman who once seemed to be against doing what was expected of her was now conforming to her husband s decisions When the clock struck four she got Bali up she was going to bed at last for the lamp had long since gone out and the candles burned down to their socketsComplicating things even further is the revelation Countess Gemini Osmond s sister makes to Isabel of a long time secret that leaves her completely shaken This only comes to deteriorate even her relationship with Gilbert Now fully aware of the situation she was put in through manipulations and schemes Isabel is faced with a big decision her cousin Ralph is dying in Gardencourt and her dictatorial husband is completely against her visiting England Showing the old Isabel may still be somewhere locked inside of herself she confronts her husband and leaves to be with her cousin The Portrait of a Lady through its length presents a number of opposites but the most striking ones are the battles between freedom vs destiny and affection vs betrayal In the book s final moments we witness that Isabel is offered a way to go back to where and to whom she was when she first came to Europe The world s all before Take Me Coach Me #2 us and the world s very big she is told She could once again explore life and fill herself with hopes but declined the opportunity The world s very small she answered With a much talked about conclusion that has both fascinated and infuriated another battle of opposites readers James ending remains open to a lot of interpretationsIt s disturbing to watch an Die Heinzelmännchen zu Köln unhappily married woman with an opportunity to leave it all behind and the means to do it simply not choosing freedom Did Osmond finally accomplish to shatter her spirit Another theory is that maybe marriage was an Think A1 Workbook Bulgaria Edition unbreakable vow and she felt she had a moral duty to her husband Or was she trying to be protective of Pansy who was mirroring Isabel s تكسير ركب unhappiness and was another example of a woman who seemed to think that she was obliged to follow other s decisions even if it made her The Message of Salvation By God's Grace for God's Glory The Bible Speaks Today unhappy and determined to stand by her side and not let the same happen to her step daughter Innumerable possibilitiesJames has been known for structuring his novels with a series of circles surrounding a center With that in mind a hopeful interpretation of the book s ending is that in order to complete that circle Isabel must return to her husband properly end her marriage so she could once again be able to start anew and free her spirit once and for allRating for such an interesting and comprehensive analysis of freedom human consciousness and FM For Murder (Pamela Barnes Acoustic Mystery, #2) ultimately existentialism 4 stars

summary The Portrait of a LadyThe Portrait of a Lady

free read The Portrait of a Lady ð PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Y her father Isabel has been encouraged to nurture her independence from a young age which later results in her becoming cautious in her selection of possible suitors Following her father’s death Isabel is visited by her expatriate aunt Mrs Touchett who suggests that Isabel should accompany her back to her home in England Isabel excitedly accepts the invitation looking forward to the opportunity to experience life at a whole new level and duly sets out on the trip of a lifetime Subseuently she arrives at the Touchett country estate where she meets Mr Touchett and her sick cousin Ralph Furth. Ugh ech the elitism that breeds in readers We think we re such nicey cosy bookworms and wouldn t harm a fly but we seethe we do Of course readers of books just naturally look down on those who don t read at all In fact they try not to think of those people nine tenths of the human race I suppose but a tenth of the human race is still a big number because it makes them shudder How lovely it would be to go riding in a carriage through some dreadful council estate flinging free copies of Ulysses and Mrs Dalloway right and left although Ulysses might catch some of those urchins a hefty blow on the temple which might cause a shift in their brain landscape and evoke a sudden craving for modernist novels like when people are struck by a bus and wake up talking in a French accent that can happen So that s one obvious kind of reader elitism But then some readers think that what the majority of readers actually read is appalling Hungervinciboneskitehelpslappery Twilit Shades of Pottery doo dah It s not that you read it s what you read Of course And then amongst those elevated readers some literary authors are considered greater than some others why are you wasting your time with William Gaddis when you could be knee deep in Proust dwarling I simply don t understand it And then even when you scale the heights and find yourself munching down some Henry James like he was the last well done steak with Chateau Lafleur you were going to get before your solo trek no huskies to the south pole you still get it oh dwarling why are you still dillydallying in the Middle Period when you still haven t read The Golden Bowl you naughty Jamesian youThus it is that I say oh no not The Portrait of a Lady Too too obvious Try The Awkward Age or The Ambassadors Much better A star to steer her by urchins a hefty blow on the temple which might cause a shift in their brain landscape and evoke a sudden craving for modernist novels like when people are struck by a bus and wake Double Doms: A Romance Compilation up talking in a French accent that can happen So that s one obvious kind of reader elitism But then some readers think that what the majority of readers actually read is appalling Hungervinciboneskitehelpslappery Twilit Shades of Pottery doo dah It s not that you read it s what you read Of course And then amongst those elevated readers some literary authors are considered greater than some others why are you wasting your time with William Gaddis when you could be knee deep in Proust dwarling I simply don t Bimbo Invasion understand it And then even when you scale the heights and find yourself munching down some Henry James like he was the last well done steak with Chateau Lafleur you were going to get before your solo trek no huskies to the south pole you still get it oh dwarling why are you still dillydallying in the Middle Period when you still haven t read The Golden Bowl you naughty Jamesian youThus it is that I say oh no not The Portrait of a Lady Too too obvious Try The Awkward Age or The Ambassadors Much better

download ✓ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB À Henry James

free read The Portrait of a Lady ð PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Regarded as one of James’ finest works The Portrait of a Lady revolves around the life and the development of Isabel Archer as she embarks on a scrupulous journey of self discovery forced to choose between her individual freedom and the preset conventions of society Moreover the novel explores themes of existentialism objectification of women wealth suffering and the conflict between individual longing and social conformity Set in the second half of the 19th century the novel opens with the introduction of Isabel Archer a naive young woman from Albany New York Raised in a haphazard manner b. For my dear friend Jeffrey Keeten I would not have read it if it were not for you Thanks Henry James The Portrait of a Lady touched me deeply Since I finished this novel a few days ago I could not seem to stop thinking about it as I tried to organize my feelings That I was mesmerized by it there is no doubt So much that the search for its understanding has occupied practically all my free moments And to fully grasp it I could not do without Henry James masterful help so forgive me if you find I uote him too often Oh but this is a work in progress so forgive me again for any inaccuracy or inconsistency 1 The complexity of Isabel Archer Millions of presumptuous girls intelligent or not intelligent daily affront their destiny and what is it open to their destiny to be at the most that we should make an ado about it The novel is of its very nature an ado an ado about something and the larger the form it takes the greater of course the ado Therefore consciously that was what one was in for for positively organising an ado about Isabel Archer Portrait of a Lady is the story of a young American woman Isabel Archer and her voyage of self discovery I loved getting into Isabel s conflicted mind her doubts and her confidence her wishes and her choices I went even further and identified thoroughly with Isabel Archer I could relate to her conflicted mind her dreams and ultimate choices She was a pleasure to know because she is so extraordinarily complex complex in a way that fictional people seldom areFrom the first we learn how Isabel valued her freedom in a dialogue with her cousin Ralph Adopted me The girl stared and her blush came back to her together with a momentary look of pain Oh no she has not adopted me I m not a candidate for adoption I beg a thousand pardons Ralph murmured I meant You meant she has taken me up Yes she likes to take people up but she added with a certain visible eagerness of desire to be explicit I m very fond of my liberty The secondary characters are there to explain Isabel Archer as Henry James tells us they are there for what they are worth the definite array of contributions to Isabel Archer s history I recognized them I knew them they were numbered pieces of my puzzle the concrete term of my plot Mrs Touchett her aunt brings Isabel to Europe but is indifferent and unfeeling Ralph is initially amused by her and helps her to inherit a fortune only to guarantee her choices and the freedom to follow them he probably is the only one that thoroughly loved Isabel Madam Merle manages her meeting with Osmond and makes sure they end up married Osmond thinks of her as one item for his collection Mr Goodwood is persistent and never loses interest in her life coming back again and again to see how she is but seems to offer nothing Lord Warburton is a fair aristocratic friend to Isabel but was he truly in love with her or merely looking for a trophy wife Henrietta Stackpole is a true friend and probably an antithesis to Isabel and Pansy the artless creation of her husband depends on Isabel as the only person who throughly loves her So everyone including the reader look upon her judge her decisions and contemplate as she takes each of her fateful steps into her destinyOh there is much about Isabel and I hope I will be able to know her better once I am finished 2 The images and metaphors of Isabel Archer s lifeTo discuss this I first I want to tell you about a recurrent dream I had for a very long time Sometimes I dreamed that I was walking down the corridor on my home and discovered a door I had never realized existed deciding to explore I would open it and it led me to a new endless row of rooms all grand with high windows and sunny overlooking majestic gardens that I had never observed existed before As I opened each door amazing new discoveries were revealed to me My feelings were of exuberance of happiness to have discovered so much beauty inside my home But there was a variation to these recurrent dreams or worst there were also nightmares In these I also discovered new places never visited before however they would be dark and looked nowhere As a result of this oppressive atmosphere I used to feel like I was in an endless prison inside my own home I rejoiced in the first and feared to revisit those nightmaresSo when I started reading The Portrait of a Lady it was fascinating to read how Henry James uses symbolic or metaphorical architectural spaces and places to tell us about Isabel Archer and her life This was something I knew and it remitted directly to my dreams and my deepest self Her imagination was by habit ridiculously active when the door was not open it jumped out of the window She was not accustomed indeed to keep it behind bolts and at important moments when she would have been thankful to make use of her judgement alone she paid the penalty of having given undue encouragement to the faculty of seeing without judging We first meet Isabel at Gardencourt Her uncle s house seemed a picture made real no refinement of the agreeable was lost upon Isabel the rich perfection of Gardencourt at once revealed a world and gratified a need The large low rooms the deep greenness outside that seemed always peeping in the sense of well ordered privacy in the centre of a property much to the taste of our young lady whose taste played a considerable part in her emotions By marrying Osmond Isabel ends up enveloped in a palace dark and suffocating She could live it over again the incredulous terror with which she had taken the measure of her dwelling Between those four walls she had lived ever since they were to surround her for the rest of her life It was the house of darkness the house of dumbness the house of suffocation Osmond s beautiful mind gave it neither light nor air Osmond s beautiful mind indeed seemed to peep down from a small high window and mock at her There she seeks refuge or consolation on the ruins of Rome for her a symbol of hope for despite their long sufferings they are still standing She had long before this taken old Rome into her confidence for in a world of ruins the ruin of her happiness seemed a less unnatural catastrophe She rested her weariness upon things that had crumbled for centuries and yet still were upright she dropped her secret sadness into the silence of lonely places so that as she sat in a sun warmed angle on a winter s day she could smile at it and think of its smallness But ultimately she seeks refuge once at Gardencourt All purpose all intention was suspended all desire too save the single desire to reach her much embracing refuge Gardencourt had been her starting point and to those muffled chambers it was at least a temporary solution to return She had gone forth in her strength she would come back in her weakness and if the place had been a rest to her before it would be a sanctuary now 3 Isabel s choices and freedomIsabel s ability to choose and the choices she makes are the thread that is carefully woven throughout the novel and it raises her stature as a fictional heroine in my opinion to the level of that of an Anna Karenina or an Emma Bovary For better or for worse I m not bent on a life of misery said Isabel I ve always been intensely determined to be happy and I ve often believed I should be I ve told people that But it comes over me every now and then that I can never be happy in any extraordinary way not by turning away by separating myself By separating yourself from what From life From the usual chances and dangers from what most people know and suffer The moment Isabel inherits starts the process whereupon she loses some of her freedom There s one remarkable clause in my husband s will Mrs Touchett added He has left my niece a fortune A fortune Madame Merle softly repeated Isabel steps into something like seventy thousand pounds Madame Merle s hands were clasped in her lap at this she raised them still clasped and held them a moment against her bosom while her eyes a little dilated Ah she cried the clever creature And around Isabel there is always a sense of danger I try to care about the world than about myself but I always come back to myself It s because I m afraid She stopped her voice had trembled a little Yes I m afraid I can t tell you A large fortune means freedom and I m afraid of that It s such a fine thing and one should make such a good use of it If one shouldn t one would be ashamed I m not sure it s not a greater happiness to be powerless But was she really free or were her choices not as free as she dreamed Or was it all inevitable to some degree It seems that Isabel Archer s life was to some extend inescapable and this fact was not totally unknown to her However she thoroughly recongnizes how misguided she had been in her choice of husband It was as if he had had the evil eye as if his presence were a blight and his favour a misfortune Was the fault in himself or only in the deep mistrust she had conceived for him This mistrust was now the clearest result of their short married life a gulf had opened between them over which they looked at each other with eyes that were on either side a declaration of the deception suffered Subseuentely Isabel remains too proud to show it to the her friends But despite all her efforts to conceal her misery she cannot camouflage it from Ralph and Caspar Watching her Trying to make out if she s happy That s easy to make out said Ralph She s the most visibly happy woman I know Exactly so I m satisfied Goodwood answered dryly For all his dryness however he had to say I ve been watching her She pretends to be happy that was what she undertook to be and I thought I should like to see for myself what it amounts to I ve seen he continued with a harsh ring in his voice and I don t want to see any I m now uite ready to go Sorrowful and heartbroken that s how this passage made me feel But she is never to be pitied she always stands upright despite doomed adversity Yes I suspect there is a sense of inevitability what choices did she have where her other suitors conductive of real happiness I think not which could have made Isabel Archer s into a tragedy But she is far from it she still has choices Nevertheless James work is not merely that It is a reflection upon the ideal of a relative freedom and a play with its execution in a woman s life the actions its struggles and the conseuent decisions taken by choice This is what James has achieved with this work that liberty is not only an ideal but a responsibility too Though the reader may not approve of all her choices at the end keeping in mind the betrayal of trust brought about by Madam Merle and Osmond they were all freely taken or the result of her own will A will which comes not merely from the limitations imposed by society but by a newfound maturity result of all her suffering and above all from the vow to remain true to oneself 4 Henry James gives the reader plenty of room to imagineThere s something about Henry James work and here in particular that flares tosses back and forth with unspoken frustration and desire James art the one thing that makes him stand out for me is in how he somehow implies suggests hints but never outright tells the reader the ins and outs of his story He even skips years and it only adds to its enjoyment If you want to live along with Isabel Archer and I felt like I did is to be conuered by infinite possibilities Here we are not mere spectator or bystanders but may live everything along with her if we want to It is a hard reading that reuires effort but if we invest in it we can grasp the possibilities the whole world that exists beneath the surface of his work5 Her ultimate choiceIsabel falls for Gilbert Osmond to my mind partly because he does not mindlessly adore her does not fawn over her He takes his time in the courtship he with the help of Madame Merle has a clear strategy and it works He is mysterious indolent and there is the hint of a darker side He appears to be tired of everything simply bored so Isabel feels like for once she is helping somebody That her inheritance has a meaning a destiny She seems to feel recompensated and fulfilled What has he ever done he added abruptly That I should marry him Nothing at all Isabel replied while her patience helped itself by turning a little to hardness If he had done great things would you forgive me any better Give me up Mr Goodwood I m marrying a perfect nonentity Don t try to take an interest in him You can t And we are not the only ones to be surprised by her choice to marry Gilbert Osmond Ralph was appalled I think I ve hardly got over my surprise he went on at last You were the last person I expected to see caught I don t know why you call it caught Because you re going to be put into a cage If I like my cage that needn t trouble you she answered You must have changed immensely A year ago you valued your liberty beyond everything You wanted only to see life But she still has another choice ahead of her Her ultimate choice is whether or not to return to Osmond after she goes to Gardencourt to visit her dying cousin Again Henry James gifts us with a superb image that could not translate better the pervading dread of what she is about to do There was a penetrating chill in the image and she drew back into the deepest shade of Gardencourt She lived from day to day postponing closing her eyes trying not to think She knew she must decide but she decided nothing her coming itself had not been a decision On that occasion she had simply started And at last we understand her ultimate decision although such resolution is not easily reached There were lights in the windows of the house they shone far across the lawn In an extraordinarily short time for the distance was considerable she had moved through the darkness for she saw nothing and reached the door Here only she paused She looked all about her she listened a little then she put her hand on the latch She had not known where to turn but she knew now There was a very straight path In the end I recognized a worthier and mature Isabel Archer and I think that she comes out of her sufferings stronger I would like to imagine Osmond would be surprised by her when she gets back to Rome and that she would be able to change her standing Their roles perhaps altered Although there should certainly be anguish ahead of her given what she is going back to I imagine there is always the possibility of happiness