Daisy Miller is a short novel that seems to me like a condensed version of The Portrait of a Lady Daisy is a young American girl traveling abroad in Europe with her mother and younger brother Doing what any young American girl would consider normal, she is ridiculed and scorned for not adhering to the rigid and uncomprising moral standards and customs that existed in 19th century Europe, especially relating to young ladies actions in society James writes his stories in a style that is uniquely his own, very verbose some would say, but I like his writing and enjoy his stories. WINTRY DAISIES I rarely discuss plot, and doing so in a book on which so much has been written, seems to me like jumping into a bottomless pit.But I was sad, no I ought to say that it irked me that Henry James had her Annie, Daisy , die at the end.For I was becomingandinterested in her Was she a superficial and provincial flirt Or was she extremely modern and free in her defiance of stringent rules For even if the stiff Winterbourne, when faced with a similar riddle eventually took the first possibility, I was leaning towards the second as the book advanced and James decided to uproot the fascinating spring flower as the wintry clouds approached and began threatening her.As this was James first true success, I also wondered at what exactly had appealed to his contemporary readers. Book Review4 of 5 stars to Daisy Miller by Henry James, a story about a free and unattached American girl who is spending some time in Europe after being removed from American society for some time She unwittingly defies the moral code of European society, never realizing it until the very end when she dies All throughout the story, Daisy does what she likes, responds to what she likes To the world around her she is a young girl, an American girl, she represents a society and a sex She is expected to be what she appears whether that is an innocent girl or a fallen woman Allen 337 In America, Daisy was free to roam about, flirting occasionally with the men Once she enters Rome though, her behavior with a dubious native is in defiance of the system of curfews and chaperons which the society holds dear Dupee 298 James sets up the plot of the story by having Daisy run into a man who is also an American transplant Frederick Winterbourne, a kind free spirited and unemployed gigolo, has lived in Europe for quite a few years searching for an older, rich woman to marry When he meets Daisy, he is immediately intrigued by the pretty American flirt James 102 Once this connection is established, Daisy s innocence becomes the focus of the text In the very beginning, when contrary to the code of Geneva, Winterbourne speaks to the unmarried Daisy, he wonders whether he has gone too far When he attempts to classify her, she undermines all of his stuffy and inapplicable generalizations He decides that Daisy may be cold, austere, and prim only to find her spontaneous and as decently limpid as the very cleanest water Gargano 314 Daisy and Winterbourne have now established their relationship at this point They are attracted to one another and would like to go and see the Chateau de Chillon When Winterbourne asks her to go with him, Daisy says, with some placidity, With me Winterbourne responds by respectfully inviting her mother along also However, after the flirtatious exchange between the two, Daisy didn t rise, blushing, as a young girl at Geneva would have done James 103 The process in which Daisy loses her innocence begins here However, James s short story is told from the perspective of Winterbourne, which overshadows the true story of Daisy s innocence Readers see and understand Daisy s actions through Winterbourne s eyes and actions After Winterbourne leaves town to care for his aunt, he and Edna find their way back to each other However, Winterbourne is non committal to Daisy because of her flirtatious behavior with him and other men Nevertheless, Daisy is not alone when they meet up this time She is dating an Italian man named Giovanelli, who is obviously only after her money Daisy continues to see Giovanelli, but she also spends some time with Winterbourne Society begins to see that she is involved with both of these two men, quite intimately apparently Daisy s mother thinks she is engaged to Giovanelli, but Daisy is also seen out with Winterbourne every once in a while F W Dupee remarks that when society is judging Daisy s morals by her manners, they imagine the worst and they ostracize her They are wrong Dupee 299 However, all the chattering tongues of Rome do not bother Daisy She knows that Winterbourne, the one person whose opinion she values, believes in her innocence and chastity Buitenhuis 310 Daisy later focuses her thoughts on Giovanelli, and ignores Winterbourne even though he has always believed in her innocence and cared for her After losing track of Daisy for quite some time, Winterbourne runs across her at the Colosseum in Rome The Colosseum was known to be a place where young lovers would go to experience passion and love Daisy and Giovanelli are standing in the arena when Winterbourne notices them Winterbourne tries to leave without making his presence known, but Daisy sees him He asks her if she is engaged to Giovanelli, and Daisy tells him that she is Winterbourne, at this point, believes that Daisy is nothing but a flirt who toys with men s emotions for her own self interest It was also very dangerous for one to go near the Colosseum at such late hours because it was common for people to catch Roman Fever, a form of malaria When Winterbourne tells Daisy this, she seems to hardly care at all about getting sick, and her actions even lead the readers to believe that she is going there purposely Daisy s actions appear suicidal Winterbourne is concerned and he not only expresses his concern for her health so recklessly exposed, but by doing so, he also lets her see that he has lost faith in her purity Buitenhuis 310 Shortly after, Daisy takes ill and begins to die On her death bed, she can only think of telling Winterbourne that she really is not engaged to Giovanelli, who skips out on her once she gets sick Daisy eventually dies from the Roman Fever It seems as though Daisy dies because she cannot be fitted into any European scheme of things Allen 337 At this point, Winterbourne realizes too late that he could have loved Daisy, and that Daisy could have loved him Buitenhuis 310 It is sad that it has to come to this, but society binds women to the strict standards of what they can and cannot do If Daisy was in America, she would have gotten away with her behavior, but she was in Europe European culture expects women to conform to specific standards Just as Daisy is expected to live by the customs of Europe, so is Edna Pontellier from Kate Chopin s novel The AwakeningAbout MeFor those new to me or my reviews here s the scoop I read A LOT I write A LOT And now I blog A LOT First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at where you ll also find TV Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I ve visited all over the world And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who what when where and my pictures Leave a comment and let me know what you think Vote in the poll and ratings Thanks for stopping by Note All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them Many thanks to their original creators. This little story catalyzed a lot of late 19th century debate about American values and European values and particularly the confident, un blushing American girl who is not inclined to conform to the snobbish tastes and attitudes of the upper class people she meets as her family becomes wealthy Daisy Miller became a debatable type of American girl, Daisy Millerism a controversial kind of topic.Contemporary readers should give some thought to how Daisy s major sin against expatriate society is that she spends time with and values the company of local people Compare Winterbourne abroad, spending time only with people of means and breeding, to Daisy, who chooses to spend a lot of her time with Mr Giovanelli, who is not as Winterbourne s friends say a treasure hunter but really a respectable and clever Italian man of modest means Daisy does not choose to spend to with scoundrels and criminals and men of low character, though Winterbourne s set sees her that way And then think about how middle class American kids backpacking around Europe and staying in hostels are Daisy s descendants, mixing and mingling with the local people because that s who interests them And think of how in some ways contemporary horror movies about American kids running into trouble Europe the Hostel films, for example echo Daisy s troubles The kids are too bold, brash, and confident, interested in local culture but on their own terms, and they run into trouble because of it.Of course, James doesn t run blame in one direction in DM Daisy s overconfidence and naivete are not the only factors contributing to her fate Winterbourne and his people antagonize and irritate Daisy so much that she disregards even their good advice about, say, staying out of the Colosseum And Winterbourne never gets around to admitting to himself that he likes Daisy very muchthan he likes the upper class women who scare him with their threats of social ostracism He never notices how Daisy s interest in culture is tied not to snobbish intellectual achievement but to understanding how people relate to and care about things E.g., Rome comes alive for her when Giovanelli explains it, and the Chateau de Chillon is interesting only when Winterbourne rather than the dry, dull tour guide is explaining it For his part, Winterbourne is constantly hoping that Daisy s lapses from social propriety mean that she will yield up her person to him in some naughty way, and he even makes arrangements for that sort of thing at Chillon Contrast to Giovanelli So it s a godo story, and it s short, and it deals with James s great Americans scandalizing Europe theme, so if you think you d like to try out some Henry James, it s a great place to start. Originally Published In The Cornhill Magazine InAnd In Book Form In , Daisy Miller Brought Henry James His First Widespread Commercial And Critical Success The Young Daisy Miller, An American On Holiday With Her Mother On The Shores Of Switzerland S Lac Leman, Is One Of James S Most Vivid And Tragic Characters Daisy S Friendship With An American Gentleman, Mr Winterbourne, And Her Subsequent Infatuation With A Passionate But Impoverished Italian Bring To Life The Great Jamesian Themes Of Americans Abroad, Innocence Versus Experience, And The Grip Of Fate Daisy Miller, Henry JamesOriginally published in The Cornhill Magazine in 1878 and in book form in 1879, Daisy Miller brought Henry James his first widespread commercial and critical success The young Daisy Miller, an American on holiday with her mother on the shores of Switzerland s Lac Leman, is one of James s most vivid and tragic characters Daisy s friendship with an American gentleman, Mr Winterbourne, and her subsequent infatuation with a passionate but impoverished Italian bring to life the great Jamesian themes of Americans abroad, innocence versus experience, and the grip of fate As Elizabeth Hardwick writes in her Introduction, Daisy Miller lives on, a figure out of literature who has entered history as a name, a vision 1984 1363 99 1380 250 9646581536 191878 Henry James, much like other authors around the twentieth century, believes that society is all powerful, even to the extent that it obliterates any moral impulses that we have been born with In Daisy Miller, the embodiment of a completely naive American girl is presented in the character of Daisy, unaware of the rules of European society Even though Winterbourne, the protagonist, readily acknowledges the fact that she is common and uncultivated, he cannot help his fascination with her fresh, unsophisticated elegance Her beauty and simplicity of manner is something that he often remarks on, even describing her as a sylph However, throughout his interactions with Daisy, Winterbourne does not have a single moment when he is able to free himself from societies conventions He wonders constantly at the conditions and limitations of one s intercourse with a pretty American flirt, unable to simply act naturally and be himself In fact, he openly admits that by instinct, he should not appreciate her justly In this way, Winterbourne embodies a man whose individuality has been completely obliterated by society Thus, when he meets Daisy, a girl whose actions show a complete disregard for societal conventions, the only possible result is in her termination When Winterbourne encounters Daisy in the Colosseum, he finally makes up his mind that she is a young lady whom a gentleman need no longer be at pains to respect and his words cuts her accordingly In effect, this cut metaphorically led to Daisy s death.The world that James presents to us is an extremely chaotic one, which is why he chooses single consciousness as the method of narration to create a structured and meaningful version of this world through the eyes of one person This effectively limits the reader to only Winterbourne s thoughts and emotions What happens within Daisy s mind remains hidden, and we are only able to judge her, as Winterbourne does, through her external actions If Daisy had only trespassed society laws mentally, she would not have met with the same tragic end This fact can most clearly be seen when examining how Mrs Walker passes judgment upon Daisy, telling her that her actions aren t the custom here In reality, she has absolutely no interest Daisy s inner motives or intentions whatsoever when she walk. Henry James in a nutshell This novel contains all typical and topical for him issues, to mention only freshness and spontaneity contra preciosity and social niceties, differences between young and puritan country and fossilized and sophisticated Old World, clash between America and Europe, innocence of the first and corruption of the latter, though in that particular example we have rather America versus America.Daisy Miller, a young American, stays with her mother and younger brother at a hotel in one of the Swiss resorts, Vevey where she is acquainted with Frederick Winterbourne, American by birth but European by education and choice The man is smitten with her beauty and unpretentious behavior He considers her a charming coquette, a flirt even,attractive than European ladies he used to know From his censorious aunt he learns, however, that Daisy is not a good catch and what s even worse due to her overly casual, inappropriate manners and reckless behavior she s considered a thorn in local social scene s flesh.Did I enjoyDaisy Miller Yes, a lot though I perceive it as a prelude to Henry James later works portraying an independent and self sufficient protagonists Did I like Daisy Not that much But my not succumbing to her charm or behaviour had different roots than disliking and ostracism she was subjected to by her compatriots She was too infantine and flirtatious to my liking you could say that there s nothing wrong with flirtatiousness, agreed, but I felt that behind her coquettish way of being, that could be only a mask, nothing really was hidden Daisy was carefree and na ve young girlie, not giving a damn what people think of her Very well, I liked that particular quality in her for I didn t care about this hypocritical, mutual admiration society either, but unfortunately I thought she was empty and shallow too Even if at first I was willing to think about her attitude as a fa ade so why I constantly had the impression that innocence feltlike silliness Did she discard social restraints Yes, though rather out of sheer contrariness than conscious choice Was she an innocent victim of the ruthless and snobbish milieu Yes, again but it didn t make her a heroine I would identify with.She was charming, spontaneous and easily giving in to a charm of the moment but that s not enough for me I expectedcomplexity here, I expected a woman ahead of her times She wanted attention, she wanted to shine and she wanted to remain herself Go for it, Daisy But constant babbling about nothing and batting your eyelashes or forbidden forays to mark your independence not especially spoke to me Maybe I look at the novel from the wrong angle, too contemporary, through the times when young unmarried girl on the tryst with handsome foreigner is nothing that scandalous, at least in most countries Perhaps if I have changed a perspective I could admit her actions beingbrave than frivolous I was looking at her like at rare colourful specimen by some unfortunate accident wrongly placed and not like a person who was to herald a modern and self aware woman Forcomplex and multifaceted personalities in Henry James oeuvre I rather look around for Catherine Sloper or Isabel Archer I m not up to reading too much in symbolism though maybe Daisy and Winterbourne are not that accidental names after all, and choosing Coliseum, place where people were dying for their beliefs, for fateful excursion somewhat appeals to me as well And, on reflection, that s not true that Daisy didn t care about others, after all her last words witness that she did care what Winterbourne would think about her And I find it highly ironic if not tragic too.3.5 5 Ovo je prva knjiga koju sam pro itala na engleskom, od korica do korica U prvom razredu gimnazije I to je u to vreme bilo neobi no A sada klinci jo u osnovnoj koli itaju knjige u originalu, to je dobro Henri Miler je bio i ostao jedan od mojih najdra ih pisaca Qui se passes ses fantaisies.She does what she wishes Daisy Miller, published in 1879 brought Henry Miller his first success The short novela 72 pages casts an eye of societal norms of the day Told through the eyes of a fellow American but raised in Geneva, Winterbourne is charmed by the open spirited Daisy Miller, who is traveling in Europe with her mother and nine year brother, Randolph.This is a book about class, elitism, snobbery and money The Millers have enough money for part of the family to see Europe the father stays home to make enough for him to travel later As was the custom back then, the Americans want to be educated by the grand old countries of Europe, and yet, Europe doesn t seem to fit well with the Millers Daisy, who is use to flirting at social parties in America, is bored and wants to experience Europe Enter the men in Daisy s life First Winterbourne, then an Italian Giovanelli Boating on Lake Geneva, then outings in Rome Gossip and elders who knew better A recipe for disaster Is Daisy free spirited Naive A little tart Reckless What kind of family does she come from Obviously not classy enough Henry James does not lecture morals, only reflects the times One can infer a lot in this book For us 150 years later, it may seem dated but that gossip effect still exists today.
Henry James, OM, son of theologian Henry James Sr., brother of the philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James, was an American born author, one of the founders and leaders of a school of realism in fiction He spent much of his life in England and became a British subject shortly before his death He is primarily known for a series of major novels in which he portrayed the
- 79 pages
- Daisy Miller
- Henry James
- 19 April 2019 Henry James