The Portrait of a Lady: Chapter 30 - Summary & Analysis

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Chapter XXX


      Isabel and Ralph return to Florence. During the three-day interval before leaving Florence, Isabel pays Pansy the promised visit. Pansy talks about her education, her piano practicing, and especially her father, on whose pleasure her entire existence lies. Isabel’s visit confirms her earlier impression that the young girl is truly a “blank page” without art, guile, temper or talent.

Critical Analysis

      This chapter focuses on Osmond’s daughter Pansy, who has been shaped by the upbringing he chose for her, and so is a graphic comment on him. The “free” American, Isabel, meets the ‘cultivated’ European, Pansy. That Isabel is moved by her poignant visit to Pansy makes “fate” a foregone conclusion now.

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