Depicting the Contrast between America and Europe through Symbolic Characters in The Portrait of a Lady
Henry James is the most prominent American novelist who practices the international novels which deals with America and Europe. Among the subjects and the themes which James wrote about, his international theme is the most recurrent theme in his work, in other words we can say that James's international theme is the main an the most important subjects of his literary career. James's literary career is divided into three periods and the international theme is the main subject of the first and the third period, so its importance is obvious. This international theme is called in other words the issue of 'America versus Europe' through which James tried to show the contrasts which he believed to exist between America and Europe. In the days of Henry James it was as a defined duty for American writers to represent the contrast of America and Europe, because they were exhausted to be looked as a secondhand European. While in those days Americans looked themselves as inferior to European, so American writers defined to write about their contrast with Europe to be separated from Europe and that illusion. The Portrait of a Lady is James' most well-known masterpiece; this novel is again an international novel in which James practiced the international theme with a high proficiency because all parts of this novel, including its characters, settings and events are used skillfully like a chain to show the contrast between America and Europe. (original abstract)
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