The Portrait of a Lady: Chapter 33 - Summary & Analysis

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Chapter XXXIII


      Her fit of weeping ended an hour later when Mrs. Touchett came. Mrs. Touchett was doubly angry because on the one had she could not understand why Isabel wanted to marry Osmond and on the other hand, Madame Merle who promised to prevent the engagement, had brought it up.

     Ralph came after two days. He was shocked and felt humiliated to know Isabel’s decision. He realized that he had misjudged Isabel, the person be held most dear. He knew Isabel had succumbed to Mr. Osmond’s deep art; and he could neither assert with sincerity nor protest with hope.

      Isabel continues to assert her freedom by hiring her own carriage and seeing Osmond almost everyday.

Critical Analysis

      Even Mrs. Touchett sees Madame Merle’s treachery. It seems Isabel has put blinkers on her eyes. She has now reached a point of no return. There is, moreover, an ominous note in her romantic belief that she can not be hurt by anything.

     There is also a vivid contrast in this chapter between the motional conversational sections, and the quieter, more meditative reflections of both Ralph and Isabel.

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