How Isabel Archer A Dynamic Character

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“She thinks she knows a great deal of it [the world]-like most American girls; but like most American girls she's ridiculously mistaken,” said Lydia Touchett, a character in Henry James's novel The Portrait of a Lady, when she described her niece, Isabel Archer (56). Throughout this novel James wrote Ms. Archer as an extremely dynamic character, he allowed for the reader to feel as if they stood next to her in her best times and her worst and through all the obstacles she encountered and all the experiences that matured her. He used his connotation in a way that vividly illustrated what occurred and created a tone that developed and changed, and in doing so James was able to brilliantly depict Isabel Archer maturing from a young naive American…show more content…
She took the input of others for granted and relied too much on her own limited knowledge of the world. “Isabel was probably very liable to the sin of self-esteem; she often surveyed with complacency the field of her own nature; she was in the habit of taking for granted, on scanty evidence, that she was right,” (James 63-64). She was very conscious of who she was before her marriage, she was so used to being right that when her family offered her advice that she was not in favor of she completely disregarded it. Isabel knew what she wanted and had a strong belief that her knowledge would never steer her wrong, but the deterioration of her marriage was destroying her. Isabel lost much of her confidence in her choices and lost sight of who she was, she became cynical, “her humor had lately turned a good deal to sarcasm,” the complete opposite of the young optimistic girl the reader had come to know, she had lost her naivety and greatly matured (James 429). Isabel showed her maturity by standing by her choices until the very end of the novel, and slowly gaining the courage to choose her responsibilities over her happiness. Her internal debate peaked and concluded after she fled to England where she ultimately came to the realization that before she could be truly happy she had to resolve what she left in Rome, she had responsibilities and would no longer flee from
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