Pansy Osmond: Character Analysis - The Portrait of a Lady

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      Pansy is Madame Merle’s daughter, who is looked after by Gilbert Osmond. It is mentioned that Pansy is Gilbert Osmond’s daughter whose mother died in child-birth.

      Undoubtedly, Pansy is one of the objects of beauty in Osmond’s villa. Instead of going against the wishes of her father, she thinks it to be her sacred duty to obey him. She has been so brought up by him that there is not even a remote possibility of her doing something that won’t please Osmond. She is the ‘blank-sheet’, which. Isabel hoped to cover with an edifying text.

      She has no individuality, no specific characteristics of her own. Osmond wants Isabel to be like her. She is innocence personified, without any art, guile, temper or talent. In her complete innocence she presents a glaring contrast to her plotting parents.

      Again and again, in the novel, she is compared to birds and flowers. Osmond’s feeling that she has become a little ‘dusty’ sends her back to the convent. When Isabel comes to meet her in the convent she wants her to come back from England and it is at this point that there is a hint of an emergence of a personality on Pansy’s part Isabel’s passion for freedom and for free exploration of life is in direct contrast to Pansy’s desires and ideas.

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