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The Portrait of a Lady

The Portrait of a Lady

by Henry James

Identity Quotes Page 4

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Quote #10

Deep in her soul – deeper than any appetite for renunciation – was the sense that life would be her business for a long time to come. And at moments there was something inspiring, almost enlivening, in the conviction. It was a proof of strength – it was a proof she should some day be happy again. It couldn't be she was to live only to suffer; she was still young, after all, and a great many things might happen to her yet. To live only to suffer – only to feel the injury of life repeated and enlarged – it seemed to her she was too valuable, too capable, for that. (53.2)

Returning to Gardencourt, Isabel starts to feel her will to live return – possibly. A hint of her old pride and confidence appears, as though the farther she gets from Osmond, the more she returns to her old self.

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