Daisy Miller: A Study By Henry James

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Daisy Miller: A Study, by Henry James Essay The beautiful captivating story “Daisy Miller: A Study’ by Henry James is about a free-minded girl by the name Daisy Miller who goes against all expectations from the society in Europe. This story is framed around the girl, Daisy Miller and her behavior, which is considered somewhat abnormal, as the subject of Winterbourne’s study. This story has morally ambiguous conflicts between society and individuals. In the story, Winterbourne has a habit of studying women. When he first meets Daisy Miller, he picks up a lot of details about her and soon tries to analyze her. As Daisy Miller is vacationing in a new place, she tries to conform to the high class society but unfortunately she is not accepted by…show more content…
Many Europeans despise Americans in Europe, especially when they choose not to abide by their customs and culture. Despite being very different from Europe’s high class family, the Miller family do not change the way they behave. The family deviates from the norms of the European society and this is evident in how they treat lower class people. Since couriers are lower class people and consequently live in the basements, the Millers are despised because they treat Eugenio, their courier; like he’s of equal status as them. Mrs. Costello is very surprised that the Miller family treats Eugenio with familiarity. When Winterbourne informs Mrs. Costello about Daisy, the difference between the two societies are brought to the fore, “they are very common; they are the sort of Americans that one does one’s duty by not- not accepting” (17). Mrs. Costello deeply resents the Millers and even shuns the introduction to Daisy. She further suggests to Winterbourne that Daisy ought to imitate the behavior of his cousins in New York. This was ironic as Winterbourne had got word that his cousins are “tremendous flirts” (19). Generally, the Millers represent America and its associated free way of acting as well as thinking. On the other hand, Mrs. Costello and other high class characters represent the rigid European way of thinking that is deeply based in traditional values and customs. Societal norms in the story are represented by the Europeans and their desires. For instance, Mr. Winterbourne depicts European society because he has “lived too long in foreign parts” (64) to be categorized as a stereotypical American. He embodies the typical European nature. He has opined and assumed about Daisy just as all the other Europeans have done; especially the European men, who view all American girls as flirts and quite uncultured. Winterbourne calls Daisy “completely uncultivated, but
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