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The Portrait of a Lady [贵妇人画像]

所属栏目: Classic

点    击: 6454

作    者:Henry James

小说大小:883 KB

推荐等级:2级

整理时间:2010-01-22

内容简介

The Portrait of A Lady, is a novel about the failure fate of a Lady whose dream did not come true. It is about the contrast between wish and failure, the hope and disillusion. The main character Isabel Archer, a young, clever, quick , decent and charming American girl, across the Ocean of Atlantic escorted by her aunt who wanted to present Isabel a noble, classy and old English world. Her aunt thought she was the kind of clever girls who just need hope and opportunity.

Isabel is that kind of girl full of imagination as well as longing for knowledge. Her intimate friend Miss Stackpole is a correspondence of the Interview, a modern type of woman, who had great influence on Isabel. No sooner Isabel came to England than an English noble man Lord Warburton and another rich American man Casper Goodwood who followed Isabel to England had both proposed to Isabel out of pure love, however, Isabel refused their proposes, she wanted to see more of her life. She wanted to surf in it herself. She was so charming that her cousin Ralph also fell in love with here, but he got a disease and his life was limited. He hided his secret love and wanted to make Isabel an independent girl, so that she could choose her own life free. He suggested his father to give a large mount of surplus property to Isabel, thus, he made Isable, a rich woman. But to his disappoint, his selfless pure love of his cousin had brought a disaster to the inexperience innocent girl, she became a prey of a pair of greedy inscrutable fortune-hunters. Madame Merle, Isabel’s new friend, seeming charming and decentful, made the union of Isabel and Bilbert Osmond, who appeared charming and individual. In fact, Merle and Osmond had an illegal daughter pansy, then Isabel became the stepmother of pansy. Not long after her marrying, Isabel realized Osmond had no inner beauty at all, he lived in envious and prejudice. He was nothing but a narcissist. She had not supposed her own free choice is the worst. She lived in a world of darkness, a world of dumbness, a world of suffocation. It’s not in the end of the novel did Isabel know the secret of her inheriting money and the evil deeds of Madam Merle and Osmond. Yet her life had changed greatly, though Lord Warburton and Casper Goodwood still loved her, she chose to went back to her husband out of her deep love for her stepdaughter Pansy .

The fate of Isabel is so miserable in a desperate way, her cousin’s love had ruined her, which surely made Ralph feel regret and pain. Her wanting of seeing life had punished her.

Perhaps we all want us or even the character in a novel can have a happy ending. We want to see the brightness of the world and life, so we are accustomed to see the hopeless destiny of Isabel, anyhow, at the end of the novel, we can assume another hope, Isabel’s rescuing of another pure, decent spirit.

《贵妇人画像》(The Portrait of a Lady, 1881)是詹姆斯的杰作之一,在这部小说里,他又以美国人在欧洲的追求为题材。美丽聪明的女郎伊莎贝尔·阿切尔在富有的姑姑照顾之下来到欧洲。英国贵族沃伯顿公爵向她求婚,而他的名望、仪表、善良、精美的别墅,都不足以打动她,她之所以拒绝他是因为她相信一种难以言传但是好得很的将来正在等待著她。(这又是埃默森的态度∶知道一定有饭吃的好孩子,对於什麽都不介意。)後来她碰到一个美国血统的有教养的男人奥斯蒙德,以为他就是那个十全十美的人,便嫁了给他──结果只是在痛苦中逐渐发现他原来是个行为不端无情无义的势利小人,和她结婚只是为了她的钱。现在她只能以镇静自持的态度接受命运安排,如是而已。" 国际题材"在这里处理得非常细腻。詹姆斯暗示他的女主人公对於人生过於苛求,对於自己的不幸多少也是有一定责任。但是欧洲与美国的对比依然明显。不管伊莎贝尔,女友亨里埃塔,她的爱慕者古德伍德或是其他美国人有什麽小毛病,他们都是好人;而那些不好的美国人──奥斯蒙德和默尔夫人──都是让欧洲带坏了的。这不是沙文主义,而只是詹姆斯提出来的有重要意义的隐喻。禁果已经吃下去了,翩然一现的伊甸园在黑暗中消失了。美德本身就是报酬,此外再没有别的了。

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