The Portrait of a Lady Study Questions & Topics for Discussion

This Study Guide consists of approximately 37 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Portrait of a Lady.
This section contains 599 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Portrait of a Lady Study Guide

Throughout the novel the various characters and the narrator attempt to trace Isabel's portrait but no one succeeds completely. A fruitfu l topic for discussion would be what motivates the desire to "fix" her in a static depiction and why it is so difficult to do so.

Isabel herself makes a strong effort to escape final definition by others since her youth, optimism and imagination make her desire constant change and growth. Inevitably, however, her dream of freedom and her extreme individualism come up against the inherent limitations of life in the human community. Groups may wish to examine the many aspects of James's development of the theme of freedom vs necessity. In addition, it would be interesting to consider to what extent the vision of self, society and others that emerges in this novel is relevant in the contemporary world. Also inviting serious discussion is...

(read more)

This section contains 599 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Portrait of a Lady Study Guide
Copyrights
Gale
The Portrait of a Lady from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook