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MonkeyNotes-Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
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QUESTIONS

Examine the antithesis in the novel between individual liberty and social constraint.

What is the function of Ralph Touchett in the action of the novel?

Choose one of the places of the novel and examine how James invests it with moral significance.

Compare two places in the novel for their value as moral grounding for the characters there.

Analyze Henry Jamesís view of marriage as it is depicted in at least three marriages in the novel.

What are the possible roles for women in Jamesí world. Deal with characters like Lady Pensil as well as those more prominent characters like Mrs. Touchett.


What are the different ways James shows in which one can live as an ex-patriot American in Europe. Contrast the ex-patriots in England with those in Paris and Italy.

Examine Ralph Touchettís feelings for Isabel Archer. Is he in love with her or is he disinterested but caring?

Trace the changes made possible by Isabel Archerís inheritance of a fortune.

Examine the elements of the American character as James depicts it in the novel.

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