The Portrait of a Lady: Chapter 12 - Summary & Analysis

Also Read

Chapter XII


      Isabel puts the letter in her pocket and gives a smile of welcome. Lord Warburton tells her that he had come with a proposal. He confesses that he had fallen in love with her at first sight and that his life could never be happy without her. She promises to do his proposal’s justice, but this turns out to be merely a request for time to compose her refusal so as not to offend him. After his departure, Isabel reflects whether or not she is a cold, hard, priggish person who has foolishly set aside an opportunity to become a lady of the realm. She thinks that marriage to Lord Warburton would restrict “the free exploration of life” which she had so bravely undertaken by accompanying her aunt to Europe.

Critical Analysis

      Isabel finds herself in a situation she gads only read about in the romances—a proposal by an English Lord. She can not assign any definite reasons for not accepting him readily. The passage in which Isabel analyses her reasons for refusing his advances provides a detailed analysis of her romantic disposition which would be restricted. Here again, she insists on knowing the possibilities so that she can choose. Lord Warburton’s perfect behavior during his proposal indicates the absorption of a high culture in his personality.

Previous Post Next Post