The Portrait of a Lady Discussion Questions

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.
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Do research to learn about Americans who lived in Europe in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Why were they there? What were their lives like? How accurately did James portray these people and the times in which they lived?

Discuss your opinion of Isabel's decision to return to Gilbert. What do you think were her motivations for doing this? Do you think the decision was a wise one, or not? Why or why not?

Discuss James's ideas about Americans as depicted in the novel. According to James, what traits are distinctly American? To what extent do Americans today reflect these traits? What other traits would you consider to be characteristic of today's Americans?

Ralph thought that a large inheritance would enable Isabel to fulfill her potential and have a good life. Many people today feel the same way—that having...

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This section contains 221 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Portrait of a Lady Study Guide
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Gale
The Portrait of a Lady from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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