The Portrait of a Lady: Chapter 46 - Summary & Analysis

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      As Warburton has neither written to the Osmonds nor visited them for sometime Osmond accuses Isabel of working against him. In a moment of self-revelation, Osmond admits his interest in an eligible and rich man like Lord Warburton.

      Lord Warburton, called back to England, arrives to say goodbye. He tells them that he is leaving Ralph behind. Lord Warburton sits with the couple for a quarter of an hour and extends again an invitation to Lockleigh. After Osmond leaves them, he renews the invitation to Isabel. Pansy comes into the room and Lord Warburton bids her goodbye.

      The Osmonds go out to dinner that night, and so Osmond had to postpone his tirade against Isabel. After their return home, he accuses Isabel of wrecking his plans. He also accuses Isabel of having stolen Lord Warburton’s letter of proposal. He plans to go to England in pursuit of his desire to have Lord Warburton as his son-in-law.

Critical Analysis

      The relation of Isabel to Osmond is plainer in this chapter than any up to this point. As Lord Warburton’s interest in Pansy appears to be dwindling, Osmond accuses his wife of treachery. As Isabel’s feelings towards Osmond grow more bitter, Isabel’s love for Pansy increases.

      The book is full of ironies and one of the most effective is found in this chapter. Osmond has always been interested in, and jealous of Warburton’s wealth and his position of inherited power. One of the great charms for him was the fact that she had once rejected the man. Now he so much wants to capture the very man she rejected. Obviously the situation is intolerable for a man of Osmond’s pride and the reader, like Ralph, begins to wonder about Osmond’s revenge.

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