The Portrait of a Lady: Chapter 41 - Summary & Analysis

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Chapter XLI


      Later that evening Osmond touched on the matter of Pansy’s suitor for the first time. There had been no exchange of views, reactions or ideas between them for so many days because they were not on speaking terms. When Osmond rejected Rosier and approved of Warburton, Isabel came little by little to think well of the idea. It would greatly please her husband as well as her former lover. Osmond was a bit troubled by the fact that all of Pansy’s admirers seemed to be “old friends” of Isabel. Osmond expressed confidence that Isabel could bring about the union of Pansy with Lord Warburton. He left the matter in her hand and thus a cold conversation came to an end.

Critical Analysis

      We notice that Isabel’s relationship with Osmond is not too amiable. Their infrequent conversations are strained and full of antagonism. This chapter also illustrates Osmond’s ability to exploit anybody and everybody and situations in order to promote his own designs. Also, Isabel’s desire to do something to escape suffering reminds us of Dorothea Brooke in George Eliot’s Middlemarch.

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