Friday, October 5, 2012

The Portrait of a Lady Chapters 4-5

Chapter 4

Isabel is proved to be the "smart" one among her sisters. Her sensible sister hopes traveling to Europe will give Isabel some advantages she'd been lacking from indifferent upbringing by her father. Lillian's husband says that Isabel already has too many ideas. A woman isn't supposed to think, after all. Isabel enjoyed her educational career, even though it was strange and many thought it scandalous. She also realizes that she puts men off by being intelligent and bookish. She reflects on the unfortunately named Casper Goodwood, a suitor who she rejects at the end of the chapter. She thinks that maybe she's not as interested in marriage as she should be.

Chapter 5

Ralph runs to talk to his mother, mainly about Isabel. Ralph admires his father a great deal and wanted to take over the banking business, but he's a semi-invalid from a lung disease. This is unfortunate because he really would like to live life to the fullest. Ralph asks his mother if she intends to marry Isabel off. Mrs. Touchett says that she's not worried about that. The most annoying thing is that Isabel wants to pay her own way, but she knows nothing about money and can't afford to so Mrs. Touchett is having to trick her into thinking she's paying. Ralph goes down to dinner and shows Isabel the paintings in the house because she seems interested. She asks about whether the house has a ghost and Ralph makes the comment only people who have suffered can see it. Isabel makes the stupid foreshadowing comment that she's not afraid of suffering. This means she will suffer.

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