On Isabel Archer's Growth in The Portrait of a Lady from the Perspective of European and American Cultural Integration

Journal: Journal of Higher Education Research DOI: 10.32629/jher.v3i2.748

Xujin Wang

Nankai University, Tianjin 262200, China


Henry James' novels focus on the theme of European and American culture. His ideal American culture is the integration of the cultural advantages of the two countries. This paper aims to show James' ideal culture and women's growth in The Portrait of a Lady by analyzing his criticism of Transcendentalism and analyzing Isabel Archer's psychological activities with the method of psychological realism. Isabel Archer's desire for European culture at the beginning reflects her willingness to accept European culture, which makes her better absorb European culture. Her choice of marriage reflects that she gradually recognizes and accepts the reality, and finds a husband who embodies the integration of European and American culture. She finally understands the significance of responsibility and morality and returns to marriage, which reflects Henry James' ideal of integrating two cultures.


Isabel Archer, The Portrait of a Lady, cultural integration, growth


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