An analysis on the character development of the protagonist in Henry James' "The Portrait of a Lady"

Sumargo, Lindawati (1998) An analysis on the character development of the protagonist in Henry James' "The Portrait of a Lady". Undergraduate thesis, Widya Mandala Catholic University Surabaya.


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Literature is the expression of life and the representation of human action and experience. By studying literature, the students will learn ways of life and human issues, such as, the struggle of life, dreams, feelings or emotions in addition to improve their vocabularies. As in a literary work, there are many colloquies that are often found in everyday life. Studying literature can also broaden the students’ mind, so that their sensitivity will get more mature. One the basis of the above facts, the writer is interested in analyzing a literary work in her study, that is a novel. She chooses a novel in her thesis because it tells a long story, so that the author of the novel is able to develop all the basic elements in a novel. Studying character in a literary work is always useful and important since a character does not only refer to a person or human being, but also to an individual’s personalities, thought, behavior and attitude. In this thesis, the writer studies the character in Henry James” novel “The Portrait of a Lady”. Here, she deals with the main character, Isabel, who becomes her focus in studying her character’s development. The statement of the problem is what stages Isabel goes through and what character development occurred to Isabel during those stages”. The interesting thing about this novel is that it tells about a young woman whose destiny is taken from her own hands. This study can be taken as an example of literary character study. It is expected that the students will have the ability to understand the content of a literary they analyze and to develop their understanding of people’s characters. In analyzing this novel, the writer uses Content Analysis by Krippendorf and Salladie and Literary Analysis by William Kenney. The study of character is done according to Barnet, Berman and Bruto. The result if the analysis shows that Isabel goes through four stages. The writer uses her own way in determining the development of Isabel’s character based on the significant changes (physical and mental) in Isabel. The first stage is when she first comes to Gardencourt from Albany, New York. The second stage is after becomes an heiress. The third stage is after she travels everywhere. The last stage is after she gets married with Gilbert Osmond. She has her character develop during those stages. At the first stage, Isabel’s character hasn’t develop yet. Isabel is very pretty, attractive and genius. At the second stage, Isabel has more ideas than before and she dresses elegantly. The development refers to the physical and mental development. At the next stage, Isabel feels that she is wiser than before and she wants to get married. The development refers to the mental development. At the last stage, Isabel dresses more elegantly but more stiffly and she becomes quite another person. The development refers to the physical and mental development. It can also be inferred that Barnet, Berman and Bruto’s points in analyzing novel in terms of character really help to find everything about the character that is needed to be known.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Department: ["eprint_fieldopt_department_Faculty of Teacher Training and Education" not defined]
Uncontrolled Keywords: Analysis, character, development, protagonist
Subjects: English Education
Divisions: Faculty of Teacher Training and Education > English Education Study Program
Depositing User: EK Lengkonosari PN
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2015 06:33
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2015 06:33

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