Money and Choice
Posted by Cassia on September 27, 1997 at 14:35:24:
In response to Why back to Osmond?, written by Mary on September 26, 1997 at 08:09:05
] I had a very difficult time with that ending also. Why would she choose to go back to someone who more or less tricked her into marriage and then proceeded to treat her so shabbily afterwards. I guess she was supposed to be thinking of Pansy who after all was now an adult and less in need of her than before. Why not simply live independantly, a la her aunt? She did have plenty of her own money.
] I thought perhaps that Henry James was trying to say that the money was a hindrance, or that she was too foolish to use the freedom properly. Without the money she would have certainly married Mr. Goodwood or whatever his name was or Lord Warburton, each of whom would have given her a better life. The money enabled her to make the worst possible choice of a husband. I am too much a feminist to accept that premise.
When we discussed this novel in class we concluded that the money was a hinderance because Isabel had never learned how to use money. So perhaps his point wasn't just that money allowed her to make a poor choice but that her lack of knowing how to use it properly allowed her lack of judgement.
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