Daisy Miller Essay

960 Words4 Pages
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS “Daisy Miller” could be considered a tragedy of manners. It deals with a woman’s refusal to conform to the European laws of what kind of behaviour is considered proper and what is not in the society in which she is involved, especially among men and women. It was written by the American author Henry James. It was first published in the year 1878 by The Cornhill Magazine, London. SETTING The story takes place in the 1870’s in two different areas; the first two chapters take place in Vevey, Switzerland, and the last two chapters take place in Rome, Italy. CHARACTERS Daisy Miller (Annie P. Miller): She is a young American girl travelling around Europe with her mother and younger brother. Among her most notable characteristics, we have to say the she is beautiful spirited, spontaneous, independent, but she is also ignorant, shallow and she has no knowledge about some social conventions and rules. She likes flirting with men and she admits it. She is interested in manipulating men and she loves being the centre of attention. Throughout the story, Winterbourne asks himself whether she is a nice lady or not and we cannot be sure by the end of the story. We can never realize if she is innocent and doesn’t know what other people think about her or if she really doesn’t care about sticking to social rules and conventions. We cannot be sure about whether she is the product of the American society in which she was brought up, or if she is an only case of vulgarity in the American society. Mr. Winterbourne (Frederick Forsyth Winterbourne): He is a young American man who has lived most of his life in Geneva, Switzerland. Despite the fact that the name of the story is “Daisy Miller” and much of the story is about the lady, Winterbourne is the person through whose eyes we see and experience everything that happens. He is a real gentleman
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