Isabel considers relinquishing her liberties

Chapter 26 - 34

In continuing her travels to expand her understanding of the world, Isabel journeys to Rome with her usual companions.  Unexpectedly, Mr. Warburton appears, and desperately begs once more, (or was it twice more?), for Isabel’s reconsideration without success.  He slithers away rejected.

Portrait of an Unknown Woman
Ivan Kramskoi
St. Petersburg, Russia
With Merle’s encouragement, Mr. Osmond follows Isabel to Rome.  What a reward it would be for him to have Isabel as his wife after she rejected such a fine specimen of the aristocracy. 

Even in his final effort, an aggressive and defeated Casper Goodwood confronts Isabel once more regarding marriage to no avail.  He storms off dejected.

So does Mr. Osmond truly love Isabel?  He hardly knows her!  Yet, he tells her he loves her and leaves her to her freedom without any pressure, unlike her other suitors.  This is a turning point for her, when she actually imagines surrendering her freedom and individuality in order to love another.  But why?

In the meantime, Isabel, who admires Ralph, discusses with him her decision, of which he is not pleased especially because he always thought she wanted her independence.  He warns her that marriage will be like putting her “into a cage.”  She will lose her freedom, and hence, her happiness.  Isabel becomes defensive.   Ralph tells Isabel that he loves her, and he thinks she is in error.  Isabel says she’ll never complain about her troubles to him, and she leaves him.

To be continued...

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