Daisy Miller Study Guide

Daisy Miller Study Guide

Original title:
Daisy Miller
September 1st 2003 by Wildside Press (first published 1878)
Vevey (Switzerland) Rome (Italy)
ISBN 1592243002 (ISBN13: 9781592243006)

Those of you who think that novellas are something that only TV production can offer will be surprised to read “Daisy Miller” by Henry James. It is a pretty love story about a man courting a woman. The text is full of flirting, adventure and fun, but it also has a lot of deep meaning behind the plot.

The protagonists of the book are Annie Miller, who is also called Daisy, and Frederick Winterbourne. The couple meets each other in Switzerland where Daisy is fascinated by the new high society she is desperately trying to become a part of. Originally from the USA, the appearance of the simple family brings a lot of chaos in the European orderly community and provides subjects to discuss and talk about for each and every family they meet.

Despite the disapproval of his relatives, Frederick Winterbourne starts playing a love game with Daisy. He takes Daisy to a castle, which didn’t impress the girl that much, and then visits her in Rome. At the same time, Daisy is getting accustomed to a frivolous Italian society and develops a connection with a young man of dubious reputation, Giovanelli.

Daisy’s behavior is awful: she talks to the men she doesn’t know and even flirts with them. She accepts their invitations to spend time together. Moreover, her mother sees it but doesn’t say anything. And worst of all, both American women don’t listen to the advice given to them by the loving and caring European neighbors.

The book describes a strong woman who managed to survive as the minority in the predominant and judgmental society. In the end, she survived the isolation and misunderstanding, but her free will caused her to fall sick and die not having a chance to make the final choice between the two lovers. For the society, she will remain an outsider and people around her will never discover that behind the scandalous actions there was a fragile and naïve soul.

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Quotes with Page Number Daisy Miller by Henry James

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