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Portrait

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  • Trish
    Is anyone out there reading Portrait yet? Its been pretty quiet on the message board, so here goes. This is the only James book I ve read--I ve read a few
    Message 1 of 18 , Jun 3, 2007
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      Is anyone out there reading Portrait yet? Its been pretty quiet on the
      message board, so here goes.

      This is the only James book I've read--I've read a few short stories,
      which I didn't really care for. I had to talk myself into even
      starting the book, but I did. I'm only about 50 or so pages into the
      massive length, but its not as drab as I expected. However, I find
      myself wondering why James goes into so much depth explaining the
      characters instead of letting them explain themselves through actions
      and conversation. Is this pretty characteristic of James's work? Is
      anyone else out there also wanting James to SHOW us instead of TELL us?

      Trish
    • Rachel
      -I have to finish a Trollope novel, first. Portrait.. is my favorite James novel! I read it about 25 years ago, and look forward to rereading it. The style
      Message 2 of 18 , Jun 3, 2007
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        -I have to finish a Trollope novel, first. Portrait.. is my favorite
        James novel! I read it about 25 years ago, and look forward to
        rereading it. The style of this novel is pretty typical of most of
        his novels, that I have read. I love it!!


        Rachel


        > Is anyone out there reading Portrait yet? Its been pretty quiet on the
        > message board, so here goes.
        >
        > This is the only James book I've read--I've read a few short stories,
        > which I didn't really care for. I had to talk myself into even
        > starting the book, but I did. I'm only about 50 or so pages into the
        > massive length, but its not as drab as I expected. However, I find
        > myself wondering why James goes into so much depth explaining the
        > characters instead of letting them explain themselves through actions
        > and conversation. Is this pretty characteristic of James's work? Is
        > anyone else out there also wanting James to SHOW us instead of TELL us?
        >
        > Trish
        >
      • Jacque Pombrio
        Trish, I m new to the group and this is my first classic book here. It has taken me a while to just get through 4 chapters. So far, the most interesting part
        Message 3 of 18 , Jun 3, 2007
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          Trish,

          I'm new to the group and this is my first classic book here. It has taken me a while to just get through 4 chapters. So far, the most interesting part (to me) is where the Aunt tells Isabel it's time to retire for the evening. It's been slow going for me to become interested in the book. I get lost in all the details. But I'm going to keep going and hopefully develop a liking for the story.

          Jacque

          Trish <trish_kuettel@...> wrote:
          Is anyone out there reading Portrait yet? Its been pretty quiet on the
          message board, so here goes.

          This is the only James book I've read--I've read a few short stories,
          which I didn't really care for. I had to talk myself into even
          starting the book, but I did. I'm only about 50 or so pages into the
          massive length, but its not as drab as I expected. However, I find
          myself wondering why James goes into so much depth explaining the
          characters instead of letting them explain themselves through actions
          and conversation. Is this pretty characteristic of James's work? Is
          anyone else out there also wanting James to SHOW us instead of TELL us?

          Trish






          ---------------------------------
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          Play Monopoly Here and Now (it's updated for today's economy) at Yahoo! Games.

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Erin Matthiessen
          Yes, I was also nervous about reading Portrait of a Lady (even though I was the one who nominated this book!). I hadn t read Henry James in a long time. It was
          Message 4 of 18 , Jun 4, 2007
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            Yes, I was also nervous about reading Portrait of a Lady (even though I was the one who nominated this book!). I hadn't read Henry James in a long time. It was only after reading Colm Toibin's The Master (short-listed for the Booker Prize) that I felt I needed to make myself more familiar with James.
            I tried numerous times to read The Wings of the Dove and got no further than the 2nd chapter, defeated by the byzantine sentence structure and emotional reticence. Portrait, however, is a pleasant surprise. The characters are likeable (Mr Touchett) - or at least amusing (Mrs Touchett!) - and Isabel Archer appears to be an attractive and promising character.
            Henry James is not as "sexy" as Hemingway, or even Dostoyevsky, but there is a reason he is held in such high critical esteem, and reading Portrait together would seem to be offer a good occasion to discover why that is so.
            (Having made my way through several tortuous William Faulkner novels, I can assure you that James, especially in this, one of his earlier and "lighter' novels, is worth the patience and the effort.
            Yours,
            Erin
            ----Original Message -----
            From: Trish
            To: classicsreadinggroup@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2007 9:26 AM
            Subject: [CRG] Portrait


            Is anyone out there reading Portrait yet? Its been pretty quiet on the
            message board, so here goes.

            This is the only James book I've read--I've read a few short stories,
            which I didn't really care for. I had to talk myself into even
            starting the book, but I did. I'm only about 50 or so pages into the
            massive length, but its not as drab as I expected. However, I find
            myself wondering why James goes into so much depth explaining the
            characters instead of letting them explain themselves through actions
            and conversation. Is this pretty characteristic of James's work? Is
            anyone else out there also wanting James to SHOW us instead of TELL us?

            Trish





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Jacqueline
            I picked up the book on Saturday and am through the first four chapters. I have to say, I haven t read anything of James before and am a bit ashamed to admit
            Message 5 of 18 , Jun 4, 2007
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              I picked up the book on Saturday and am through the first four
              chapters. I have to say, I haven't read anything of James before and
              am a bit ashamed to admit I only really knew him by name.

              I was a little bit worried about the writing style, but after
              glancing through a few pages in the bokstore, I felt pretty
              comfortable. I do find the descriptions of the characters a bit
              more than I'm used to, but I think they do add to the story and he
              does jump in with dialogue pretty early. (I was worried that James
              was another Hardy there for a second.)

              --- In classicsreadinggroup@yahoogroups.com, "Rachel"
              <gullcottage_1999@...> wrote:
              >
              > -I have to finish a Trollope novel, first. Portrait.. is my
              favorite
              > James novel! I read it about 25 years ago, and look forward to
              > rereading it. The style of this novel is pretty typical of most of
              > his novels, that I have read. I love it!!
              >
              >
              > Rachel
              >
              >
              > > Is anyone out there reading Portrait yet? Its been pretty quiet
              on the
              > > message board, so here goes.
              > >
              > > This is the only James book I've read--I've read a few short
              stories,
              > > which I didn't really care for. I had to talk myself into even
              > > starting the book, but I did. I'm only about 50 or so pages into
              the
              > > massive length, but its not as drab as I expected. However, I
              find
              > > myself wondering why James goes into so much depth explaining the
              > > characters instead of letting them explain themselves through
              actions
              > > and conversation. Is this pretty characteristic of James's
              work? Is
              > > anyone else out there also wanting James to SHOW us instead of
              TELL us?
              > >
              > > Trish
              > >
              >
            • Keeva Smotherman
              The details about the characters are what make it a James novella. Go back to those passages you are intimidated by and read them slowly and picture the scene
              Message 6 of 18 , Jun 4, 2007
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                The details about the characters are what make it a James novella. Go back to those passages you are intimidated by and read them slowly and picture the scene and the person in it. These people don't have to rush to do anything; they are to move slowly throughout their existence. You, as a reader, should do it as well. Reread the descriptions and they come to life. It's so unique and refreshing after trying to stomach the "formula" Johh Grisham. A friend asked me to try a Grisham, so I read two of them and saw the whole "formula" thing right away. James is a far cry from thyis type of writing so enjoy it!

                Jacque Pombrio <jacque.pombrio@...> wrote: Trish,

                I'm new to the group and this is my first classic book here. It has taken me a while to just get through 4 chapters. So far, the most interesting part (to me) is where the Aunt tells Isabel it's time to retire for the evening. It's been slow going for me to become interested in the book. I get lost in all the details. But I'm going to keep going and hopefully develop a liking for the story.

                Jacque

                Trish <trish_kuettel@...> wrote:
                Is anyone out there reading Portrait yet? Its been pretty quiet on the
                message board, so here goes.

                This is the only James book I've read--I've read a few short stories,
                which I didn't really care for. I had to talk myself into even
                starting the book, but I did. I'm only about 50 or so pages into the
                massive length, but its not as drab as I expected. However, I find
                myself wondering why James goes into so much depth explaining the
                characters instead of letting them explain themselves through actions
                and conversation. Is this pretty characteristic of James's work? Is
                anyone else out there also wanting James to SHOW us instead of TELL us?

                Trish
              • Trish
                Thanks to you who have provided a little encouragement for Portrait. I m about 100-150 pages into the book and am really enjoying it. Jacque, if you can make
                Message 7 of 18 , Jun 4, 2007
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                  Thanks to you who have provided a little encouragement for Portrait.
                  I'm about 100-150 pages into the book and am really enjoying it.
                  Jacque, if you can make it through those first four chapters, it really
                  begins to pick up. After I wrote my complaint about James telling and
                  not showing, I feel that he has heard my plea since the block
                  paragraphs with no dialogue are getting shorter and the characters are
                  exploring the others through conversation more.

                  I don't have the book in front of me since I'm at work, but I love the
                  part at the end of one of the chapters (maybe 8??) where Mrs. Touchett
                  and Isabel are discussing right and wrong (or good and bad...I can't
                  remember the exact phrasing) and Isabel wants to know the distinction
                  not so that she can do what is right, but so that she can have a
                  choice. She's a little sassier than I had expected.

                  Perhaps I was led into a false James bias by my Dickens professor? :)
                  That's yet to be determined...

                  Trish
                • Trish
                  Just following up on my previous post-- At the end of chapter 7 Isabel says to her aunt: Yes, I think I m very fond of them [her ways]. But I always want to
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jun 4, 2007
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                    Just following up on my previous post--

                    At the end of chapter 7 Isabel says to her aunt:

                    'Yes, I think I'm very fond of them [her ways]. But I always want to
                    know the things one shouldn't do.'

                    'So as to do them?' asked her aunt.

                    'So as to choose,' said Isabel.

                    --- In classicsreadinggroup@yahoogroups.com, "Trish"
                    <trish_kuettel@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Thanks to you who have provided a little encouragement for
                    Portrait.
                    > I'm about 100-150 pages into the book and am really enjoying it.
                    > Jacque, if you can make it through those first four chapters, it
                    really
                    > begins to pick up. After I wrote my complaint about James telling
                    and
                    > not showing, I feel that he has heard my plea since the block
                    > paragraphs with no dialogue are getting shorter and the characters
                    are
                    > exploring the others through conversation more.
                    >
                    > I don't have the book in front of me since I'm at work, but I love
                    the
                    > part at the end of one of the chapters (maybe 8??) where Mrs.
                    Touchett
                    > and Isabel are discussing right and wrong (or good and bad...I
                    can't
                    > remember the exact phrasing) and Isabel wants to know the
                    distinction
                    > not so that she can do what is right, but so that she can have a
                    > choice. She's a little sassier than I had expected.
                    >
                    > Perhaps I was led into a false James bias by my Dickens
                    professor? :)
                    > That's yet to be determined...
                    >
                    > Trish
                    >
                  • Renee Mouilso
                    Oh,I love that!!!! I haven t received my book yet,but hopefully I will soon! Renee Trish wrote:
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jun 6, 2007
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                      Oh,I love that!!!!
                      I haven't received my book yet,but hopefully I will soon!
                      Renee

                      Trish <trish_kuettel@...> wrote: Just following up on my previous post--

                      At the end of chapter 7 Isabel says to her aunt:

                      'Yes, I think I'm very fond of them [her ways]. But I always want to
                      know the things one shouldn't do.'

                      'So as to do them?' asked her aunt.

                      'So as to choose,' said Isabel.

                      --- In classicsreadinggroup@yahoogroups.com, "Trish"
                      <trish_kuettel@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Thanks to you who have provided a little encouragement for
                      Portrait.
                      > I'm about 100-150 pages into the book and am really enjoying it.
                      > Jacque, if you can make it through those first four chapters, it
                      really
                      > begins to pick up. After I wrote my complaint about James telling
                      and
                      > not showing, I feel that he has heard my plea since the block
                      > paragraphs with no dialogue are getting shorter and the characters
                      are
                      > exploring the others through conversation more.
                      >
                      > I don't have the book in front of me since I'm at work, but I love
                      the
                      > part at the end of one of the chapters (maybe 8??) where Mrs.
                      Touchett
                      > and Isabel are discussing right and wrong (or good and bad...I
                      can't
                      > remember the exact phrasing) and Isabel wants to know the
                      distinction
                      > not so that she can do what is right, but so that she can have a
                      > choice. She's a little sassier than I had expected.
                      >
                      > Perhaps I was led into a false James bias by my Dickens
                      professor? :)
                      > That's yet to be determined...
                      >
                      > Trish
                      >






                      ---------------------------------
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                      Play Sims Stories at Yahoo! Games.

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Frank T
                      Glad to see so many people posting about the book. I am finding it interesting, as Isabelle Archer fascinates me. If you haven t met her friend Henrietta yet,
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jun 8, 2007
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                        Glad to see so many people posting about the book. I am finding it
                        interesting, as Isabelle Archer fascinates me. If you haven't met her
                        friend Henrietta yet, you are in for another interesting woman,
                        especially considering when this book was written.
                        FrankT
                      • Trish
                        Frank, I agree. I am making much slower progress on this book than I would have hoped (I think I m on around ch 18?), but I am really enjoying the characters.
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jun 8, 2007
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                          Frank, I agree. I am making much slower progress on this book than I
                          would have hoped (I think I'm on around ch 18?), but I am really
                          enjoying the characters.

                          Both Isabel and Henrietta are so much more than I had expected. I
                          have to admit I haven't read a whole lot of Am lit from this
                          particular time period, so I'm not familiar with how women were
                          written.

                          Isabel keeps talking about being an independent woman. And I
                          wonder...just how independent is she? Is she as independent as
                          Henrietta? How do the two differ in this regard?

                          Trish

                          --- In classicsreadinggroup@yahoogroups.com, "Frank T" <XTONTOX@...>
                          wrote:
                          >
                          > Glad to see so many people posting about the book. I am finding it
                          > interesting, as Isabelle Archer fascinates me. If you haven't met
                          her
                          > friend Henrietta yet, you are in for another interesting woman,
                          > especially considering when this book was written.
                          > FrankT
                          >
                        • Tim Ruffalo
                          Henry James has a reputation for drawing vivid and complex characters in his stories. I am very pleased that my first experience with this group is through
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jun 9, 2007
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                            Henry James has a reputation for drawing vivid and complex characters in his stories. I am very pleased that my first experience with this group is through The Portrait of a Lady.

                            I have approached reading this novel the way one should enjoy a fine wine or brandy, a sip at a time at my leisure. Most recently, it has been my practice to avoid books that can be consumed like a bottle of beer during a sporting event. That is the reason for my participation in a classics reading group.

                            Reading the introduction to the SIGNET edition of The Portrait of a Lady has informed me that James's female characters in this work are atypical of female characters found in the work of other authors of this time period. Isabel's intellectual and spiritual development is fascinating to observe. The question becomes for her, when does independence become freedom? Does Isabel ever achieve freedom? Do any of us?

                            Tim

                            Trish <tstineman@...> wrote:
                            Frank, I agree. I am making much slower progress on this book than I
                            would have hoped (I think I'm on around ch 18?), but I am really
                            enjoying the characters.

                            Both Isabel and Henrietta are so much more than I had expected. I
                            have to admit I haven't read a whole lot of Am lit from this
                            particular time period, so I'm not familiar with how women were
                            written.

                            Isabel keeps talking about being an independent woman. And I
                            wonder...just how independent is she? Is she as independent as
                            Henrietta? How do the two differ in this regard?

                            Trish

                            --- In classicsreadinggroup@yahoogroups.com, "Frank T" <XTONTOX@...>
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > Glad to see so many people posting about the book. I am finding it
                            > interesting, as Isabelle Archer fascinates me. If you haven't met
                            her
                            > friend Henrietta yet, you are in for another interesting woman,
                            > especially considering when this book was written.
                            > FrankT
                            >






                            ---------------------------------
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                          • Frank T
                            ... I don t think I can answer that question until I get further in the book. S P O I L E R The point I am at now is right before the old man dies and Ralph
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jun 10, 2007
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                              --- In classicsreadinggroup@yahoogroups.com, "Trish" <tstineman@...>
                              wrote:
                              >
                              > Frank, I agree. I am making much slower progress on this book than I
                              > would have hoped (I think I'm on around ch 18?), but I am really
                              > enjoying the characters.
                              >
                              > Both Isabel and Henrietta are so much more than I had expected. I
                              > have to admit I haven't read a whole lot of Am lit from this
                              > particular time period, so I'm not familiar with how women were
                              > written.
                              >
                              > Isabel keeps talking about being an independent woman. And I
                              > wonder...just how independent is she? Is she as independent as
                              > Henrietta? How do the two differ in this regard?
                              >
                              > Trish
                              I don't think I can answer that question until I get further in the
                              book.
                              S
                              P
                              O
                              I
                              L
                              E
                              R
                              The point I am at now is right before the old man dies and Ralph
                              convinces him to leave Isabelle a lot of money. I wonder how that will
                              change her oulook on life.
                            • jolene144
                              The essential attribute of the main women characters is that of independence and of possessing a strong will to refuse to conform to expectations or to
                              Message 14 of 18 , Jun 11, 2007
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                                The essential attribute of the main women characters is that of
                                "independence" and of possessing a strong will to refuse to 'conform'
                                to expectations or to please "other people". There has so far also
                                been a concomitant impression of disdain and a certain vacuousness
                                associated to the minor women characters who choose a life of
                                conformity. But, there is also a certain amount of cruelness in the
                                behavior of some of the independent women. (please excuse spellings, I
                                do not presently have book handy).
                                1. Mrs. Touchett, seems so have abandoned an adoring husband and a
                                sickly son, and incapable of modifying her travel/living plans for
                                either regardless of serious health issues
                                2. Henrietta seems to "use" people for her own means to an enigmatic end.
                                3. Isabel again has an some enigmatic purpose for refusing otherwise
                                perfect marriage proposals.

                                It is difficult to figure out where this will all lead? Am I being to
                                harsh on the characters? Am I missing something, especially for the
                                "times" the book was written.

                                Pansy seems to be the exception to the rule, and a stark contrast! I'm
                                anxious to see how the opposing characterizations will fare in the end.
                              • Michael Parker
                                ... As James writes he gets more and more obtuse and his sentence structure could have even me begging for Hemingway. The Portrait of a Lady is fairly early in
                                Message 15 of 18 , Jun 11, 2007
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                                  Jacqueline wrote:

                                  > I was a little bit worried about the writing style, but ...

                                  As James writes he gets more and more obtuse and his sentence
                                  structure could have even me begging for Hemingway. The Portrait of a
                                  Lady is fairly early in his career so I expect it is less tortured
                                  and more understandable.

                                  --
                                  Mike in New Jersey until Thursday

                                  A Celebration of Reading
                                  @ http://web.mac.com/mparker_46
                                  Yahoo Reading Groups:
                                  BFB @ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BFB_Readers
                                  LSG @ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LiteratureStudyGroup
                                  ALR @ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ALitReaders

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                                  .................... FR ....................
                                  The Alkahest -- Honoré de Balzac
                                  The Death of Virgil -- Hermann Broch
                                  Strong Motion -- Jonathan Franzen
                                  The Unconsoled -- Katsuo Ishiguro
                                  The Conversions -- Harry Mathews
                                • Tim Ruffalo
                                  Regina Barreca in her introduction to the SIGNET edition of our novel writes, The complicated method for the disclosure of information must be grounded in any
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Jun 13, 2007
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                                    Regina Barreca in her introduction to the SIGNET edition of our novel writes, "The complicated method for the disclosure of information must be grounded in any discussion of The Portrait of a Lady for one crucial reason; the central concern of the story itself is the revelation of information and the epistemology of truth."

                                    Each character of the novel struggles in his or her own way with the choices to made each day. What to do? What is right? What is wrong? Who shall decide? These characters remind us of our own struggles to do the right thing among a variety of choices on a daily basis. Some choices we all make each day have far greater consequences than others, but it is not always clear at the time a choice is made how significant that choice could be to our destiny.

                                    Henry James in The Portrait of a Lady is also concerned with the relationship of naive America and cultured Europe, and the contrast between their respective moral and aesthetic values. That concern seems to explain the behavior of the main characters in the story.

                                    Henrietta seems to me to be the quintessential "American" of the late 19Th century and beyond. Isabel is trying to understand the strengths and weaknesses of European culture to better choose between the two. Mrs. Touchett certainly is concerned with no one other than herself. Many American men and children have a wife/mother like her.

                                    I do not believe you judge these characters too harshly. You see them for who they are. They are a mirror for each of us to look at ourselves.

                                    jolene144 <jmellas@...> wrote:
                                    The essential attribute of the main women characters is that of
                                    "independence" and of possessing a strong will to refuse to 'conform'
                                    to expectations or to please "other people". There has so far also
                                    been a concomitant impression of disdain and a certain vacuousness
                                    associated to the minor women characters who choose a life of
                                    conformity. But, there is also a certain amount of cruelness in the
                                    behavior of some of the independent women. (please excuse spellings, I
                                    do not presently have book handy).
                                    1. Mrs. Touchett, seems so have abandoned an adoring husband and a
                                    sickly son, and incapable of modifying her travel/living plans for
                                    either regardless of serious health issues
                                    2. Henrietta seems to "use" people for her own means to an enigmatic end.
                                    3. Isabel again has an some enigmatic purpose for refusing otherwise
                                    perfect marriage proposals.

                                    It is difficult to figure out where this will all lead? Am I being to
                                    harsh on the characters? Am I missing something, especially for the
                                    "times" the book was written.

                                    Pansy seems to be the exception to the rule, and a stark contrast! I'm
                                    anxious to see how the opposing characterizations will fare in the end.






                                    ---------------------------------
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                                    Yahoo! Answers - Check it out.

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                                  • Frank T
                                    Very good questions Tim, I m not far enough in the book to answer about Isabelle yet, and I m not sure of the answer for my own life yet. I guess I m not far
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Jun 14, 2007
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                                      Very good questions Tim,

                                      I'm not far enough in the book to answer about Isabelle yet, and I'm
                                      not sure of the answer for my own life yet. I guess I'm not far
                                      enough along in my story either.
                                      FrankT

                                      --- In classicsreadinggroup@yahoogroups.com, Tim Ruffalo
                                      <t_ruffalo@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Henry James has a reputation for drawing vivid and complex
                                      characters in his stories. I am very pleased that my first
                                      experience with this group is through The Portrait of a Lady.
                                      >
                                      > I have approached reading this novel the way one should enjoy a
                                      fine wine or brandy, a sip at a time at my leisure. Most recently,
                                      it has been my practice to avoid books that can be consumed like a
                                      bottle of beer during a sporting event. That is the reason for my
                                      participation in a classics reading group.
                                      >
                                      > Reading the introduction to the SIGNET edition of The Portrait of
                                      a Lady has informed me that James's female characters in this work
                                      are atypical of female characters found in the work of other authors
                                      of this time period. Isabel's intellectual and spiritual development
                                      is fascinating to observe. The question becomes for her, when does
                                      independence become freedom? Does Isabel ever achieve freedom? Do
                                      any of us?
                                      >
                                      > Tim
                                    • Frank T
                                      Good comments, I too wonder where it all will end. FrankT ... to conform ... spellings, I ... enigmatic end. ... to ... I m ... end.
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Jun 14, 2007
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                                        Good comments, I too wonder where it all will end.
                                        FrankT
                                        --- In classicsreadinggroup@yahoogroups.com, "jolene144"
                                        <jmellas@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > The essential attribute of the main women characters is that of
                                        > "independence" and of possessing a strong will to refuse
                                        to 'conform'
                                        > to expectations or to please "other people". There has so far also
                                        > been a concomitant impression of disdain and a certain vacuousness
                                        > associated to the minor women characters who choose a life of
                                        > conformity. But, there is also a certain amount of cruelness in the
                                        > behavior of some of the independent women. (please excuse
                                        spellings, I
                                        > do not presently have book handy).
                                        > 1. Mrs. Touchett, seems so have abandoned an adoring husband and a
                                        > sickly son, and incapable of modifying her travel/living plans for
                                        > either regardless of serious health issues
                                        > 2. Henrietta seems to "use" people for her own means to an
                                        enigmatic end.
                                        > 3. Isabel again has an some enigmatic purpose for refusing otherwise
                                        > perfect marriage proposals.
                                        >
                                        > It is difficult to figure out where this will all lead? Am I being
                                        to
                                        > harsh on the characters? Am I missing something, especially for the
                                        > "times" the book was written.
                                        >
                                        > Pansy seems to be the exception to the rule, and a stark contrast!
                                        I'm
                                        > anxious to see how the opposing characterizations will fare in the
                                        end.
                                        >
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