Well, we all know what pride supposedly goeth before, so let’s not even go there. Yes, there is a fall in this book, and, yes, pride is largely responsible for it. However, that’s not the whole story. There’s an interestingly ambiguous attitude towards pride in Portrait of a Lady – sometimes it’s a sin, but sometimes it’s a virtue. Our protagonist is a very proud young lady, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s just an arrogant little you-know-what. Her pride certainly causes her to make mistakes, but, in the end, it also gives her a greater sense of responsibility for those same mistakes.
At times, Isabel uses her famous pride as a cover-up for her fear of Osmond.
Isabel’s pride is the only unchanging element of her character.