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Word Count: 742
Arnold Kettles argument that The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James is a novel is about destiny is a recurring aspect of the novel According to the dictionary destiny means the predetermined or inevitable course of events considered beyond power or control of peopledictionary However Isabel Archers destiny to be free and independent was not out of her control In the denouement of the novel Isabel has a chance to live her destined future Through her final decision although swayed by nearly inescapable circumstances Isabel is forced to conceal her feelings of animosity towards Osmond Isabels destiny results in failure for various reasons Isabels loyalty to Osmond and Pansy her traditional morals to be socially correct and her weakness in making her own decisions to please herself Isabels journey to find her destiny comes to a halt the moment she marries Osmond Isabel tells herself that she will never marry so when she accepts Osmonds marriage proposal she is partly destroying her destiny on her own When Isabel says I dont marry for my friends she is implying that she married Osmond for love James 305 Although Isabel truly does love Osmond she cannot live her life the way she had planned She had an immense curiosity about life James 29 Her dream to travel the world and explore its beauty remains only a dream When Osmond tells Isabel to go visit his daughter Pansy before Isabel leaves he knows that Isabel will grow to love Pansy which will help in his plan to woo Isabel Isabel feels like she can relate to Pansy she describes her in the same way that Isabel is made to seem in the novel Isabel had felt it before she would be an easy victim of fate She would have no will no power to resist no sense of her own importanceShe would easily be mystified easily crushed her force would be solely in her power
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