Lambert Strether: A Dilemma of an Impaired Vision and a Question About the Homogeneity of the Protagonist


  • Sina Movaghati
  • Milad Comcar



Henry James, The Ambassadors, Vision, Consciousness, Modern Fiction


Our discussion centers on the downfall of Henry James’s protagonist in his novel The Ambassadors. Lambert Strether, who not only fails to get hold of his promise to his well-off fiancé, Mrs. Newsome, but also cannot accept the Parisian life-style and becomes emotionally and financially paralyzed at the end of the novel. One of the major critical discussion on The Ambassadors was the nature of its ending; although many believe that it is actually an open-ended novel, the others based their discussion on the embedded facts which are placed by the author in the narrative. Based on the close reading of the text, we posed the question on the homogeneity of Lambert Sterther with other characters and elements in the painting-like narrative of the novel. Also, the function of vision in correlation with the protagonist’s consciousness is probed; moreover, knowledge and morality are discussed as the key factors that reign over the character’s final decision.


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