The Portrait of a Lady: Chapter 39 - Summary & Analysis

Also Read

Chapter XXXIX


      The several pages of meditation which are included at the beginning of the chapter, enable reader to catch up a little on what has happened to Isabel, between her happy engagement and her present condition.

      After her marriage, Isabel’s relations with Mrs. Touchett and Henrietta has got strained. Madame Merle’s relations with Isabel has undergone a perceptive change as well. Even Mr. Osmond finds fault with some of his wife’s tastes.

      Next day Isabel comes to see Ralph in his hotel and spends an hour with him. After her departure Ralph tells Lord Warburton that he has decided to stay in Rome against the doctor’s advice because he is not so much interested in his health as in Mrs. Osmond. He thinks it his duty to defend her.

Critical Analysis

      We now get details about Isabel’s marriage and the reactions of different people to the marriage. We also appreciate Ralph’s instinct in really surmising Isabel’s condition after her marriage. Ralph almost represents James in his attitude to Isabel at this stage.

     Osmond’s villainy is reminiscent of the villainy of Hawthorne’s villains - Ethan Brand Westervelt, Roger Chillingworth etc.

Previous Post Next Post