illustration of Isabel Archer with a hand fan positioned between two silhouetted profiles

The Portrait of a Lady

by Henry James

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Chapters 31-35 Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. What countries does Isabel visit with Madame Merle?

2. How does Isabel describe Osmond to Caspar?

3. What countries do Isabel and Lily visit together?

4. How does Isabel feel after her confrontation with Caspar?

5. Why is Mrs. Touchett angry at Madame Merle?

6. Why is Ralph “shocked and humiliated” by Isabel’s engagement?

7. Why does Ralph think Isabel is in “trouble”?

8. How does Osmond feel about Isabel’s inheritance?

9. What does Pansy say when Osmond tells her about his engagement to Isabel?

10. Does Countess Gemini think Isabel will like her husband, the Count?

1. They spent three months in Greece, Turkey, and Egypt.

2. She says he is a “very honourable man” who isn’t rich and is “not known for anything in particular.”

3. They meet in France and spend a month in Paris before traveling to Switzerland and then to England, where Isabel sees Lily and her family off as the Ludlows return to America.

4. Although she felt it was her duty to inform Caspar of her marriage plans, she dreaded the thought of seeing him again. After he leaves, Isabel is very upset and bursts into tears.

5. Mrs. Touchett believes that Madame Merle brought Isabel and Osmond together, and manipulated Isabel into accepting Osmond’s proposal.

6. Ralph is shocked by Isabel’s engagement because he did not take Osmond seriously, and now Isabel, “the person in the world in whom he was most interested was lost.”

7. Ralph tells Isabel, in regards to her engagement: “One’s in trouble when one’s in error.”

8. He claims to have no great interest in money, but he doesn’t mind having it if it comes his way. “Money’s a horrid thing to follow,” he says, “but a charming thing to meet.”

9. Pansy says, “Oh, then I shall have a beautiful sister!”

10. No. She calls her husband “stupid” and says Isabel “won’t care a straw for him.”

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