Monday, January 22, 2007

The Portrait Of A Lady

Taking the lead in this great novel, our heroine Isabel Archer, a younger American lady who comes to England on her aunt's request. She begins her life with great hope in life and in what life beholds. The writer Henry James shines in this novel. It is indeed one of the best books I have ever read. Isabel takes great risks and therefore must accept the consequences. She does it with total grace, life uncovers its true self to Isabel when the time was too late. She gets herself in trouble, marries the wrong man, steps over herself, and many other things that all leave her weary. You will find truly great characters and you will not fail to notice the perfection of the them.
The heroine takes the lead in her life at first as an independent lady whose only concern is to gratify her curiosity, but then suddenly you find her taking a supporting role, a helpless role trying to satisfy her husband. The true misery in life may reveal itself as glimpses through Isabel's eyes. Money plays a big role in this book, for as Isabel receives a great amount of fortune from her aunt's husband, at first it plays a great part and it helps our heroine alot, but as the story revolves she falls a victim for a greedy man whose only concern is money. She at last realizes that money is the worst enemy of man kind if not known how to deal with it best. Money ruins her life and spoils her pure soul.
However the ending wasn't very detailed, a simple open ending where you let your mind wander to imagine Isabel's future. I wish the author would have wrote a more detailed ending for people like me who like to know which direction I should take in thinking of her end. He could have at least lead me to the beginning of the road that Isabel will walk on, then I might imagine how she will end. But nevertheless such an ending only adds more greatness to the book. I truly believe -after reading the book- that Isabel's life actually represents lives of women around the globe, they may not be as fortunate as Isabel was or as miserable as she was, but still I believe some one -or more- had to go through what she went through.
At last I would like to quote from the book these lines:
"To whom under the sun do we owe anything? What is it that holds us-what is it that has the smallest right to interfere in such a question as this? Such a question is between ourselves- and to say that is to settle it! Were we born to rot in our misery- were we born to be afraid?"

1 comment:

Ashok said...

That post represents a lot of deep thinking. Great review, I definitely want to go through that now.