The first two lines of Dickinson's poem "Faith" read: "‘Faith' is a fine invention/When Men can see-," the capitalization stressing the words "faith," "when," and "men," suggesting that men can be trusted to believe what is right only when their vision is not blinded by things such as the prejudice and societal expectations. Winterbourne, the main character in Henry James's story Daisy Miller: A Study, is a representative of common 19th century masculine-dominated society of the elite, and a product of all the accompanying prejudices.
It is therefore that Winterbourne cannot help but find some fault in Miss Daisy Miller, who he meets for the first time during a visit to Vevey and who "talked to Winterbourne as if she had known him a long time. He found it quite pleasant" (330). Before society forces him to find fault with Daisy, his instincts allow him to take pleasure in her company and to see her for who she truly is, simply "a person much disposed towards conversation" (329).
However, it is not long before Winterbourne feels a need to place her within the rigid expectations proper to her class and gender. He begins to find her disposition towards conversation and acknowledgment to having a great deal of gentlemen's...
... middle of paper ...
...some Italian" (363) for Winterbourne to recognize his mistake. Like looking through a microscope, the clues of Daisy's innocence are finally brought to light, into focus, and are undeniably evident.
Faith failed Mr. Winterbourne, as he was unable to see past what society expected him to see, and it was only through hard facts and evidence-the testimony of the dying girl and the Italian man with whom she spent most of her time-that Mr. Winterbourne could finally accept Daisy as she was, truly a girl disposed to conversation and nothing else. He tells his aunt that Daisy "sent me a message before her death which I didn't understand at the time. But I have understood it since. She would have appreciated one's esteem" (364), meaning that Daisy would have liked to be thought of kindly and not labeled as someone or something she was not, and never gave evidence to being.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The controversial short story Daisy Miller: A Study, written by Henry James, depicts a story of a young European man named Winterbourne trying to come to terms with what he thinks about an American girl, named Daisy Miller. Henry James was born in New York in 1843, but lived most his life in Europe. While he was living in Europe he had many encounters with American tourists. After these encounters Henry decided he wanted to explore the difference between the innocent American, and the sophisticated European.... [tags: daisy miller, henry james]
961 words (2.7 pages)
- The story of Daisy Miller starts off in Vevey, Switzerland with Winterbourne and Daisy meeting through Daisy's brother Randolph. Winterbourne is immediately attracted to her stating, "she was strikingly, admirably pretty" (James 470). The story continues with Winterbourne giving Daisy a tour of the Chateau de Chillon, and Winterbourne returning to Geneva, where he had an older women waiting for him. Daisy ends up meeting an Italian man, Giovanelli, which eventually leads to her death of malaria.... [tags: Henry James, Daisy Miller]
1011 words (2.9 pages)
- The narrator of Henry James’ Daisy Miller contributes to the novella’s realism, as defined by James himself in his essay “The Art of Fiction,” by creating a narrator who acts as an observer to the events described in the story rather than an omniscient narrator who informs the reader of the thoughts of the characters. Rather than focusing on the internal workings of the character’s minds, James focuses on the external details which offers the reader a realistic perspective of the characters and leaves moral judgment to the readers.... [tags: Henry James, Daisy Miller]
915 words (2.6 pages)
- What is the purpose of Daisy in the novel Daisy Miller by Henry James? Why did James create such a beguiling and bewildering character? Since the publication of James's novel in 1878, Daisy has worn several labels, among them "flirt," "innocent," and "American Girl." Daisy's representation of an American Girl of the late 19th century is evident. Her free-spiritedness and individuality reflect the social movement of the American middle-class. The question of Daisy's innocence, however, remains unanswered. One of the most interesting aspects about Daisy is her distance from the reader. The reader is not given access to Daisy's inner thoughts or emotions. Instead, the reader mu... [tags: Henry James, Daisy Miller]
2185 words (6.2 pages)
- When Winterbourne first meets Daisy, he is willing to accept her for the vivacious young American girl she is. Although Daisy's customs are not what are expected of young girls in European society, Winterbourne is charmed by Daisy and her original ideals. He defends Daisy to the aristocracy, claiming that she is just "uncultivated" and is truly innocent. As the story progresses, Winterbourne finds himself questioning Daisy's true nature in comparison to the standards of European society.... [tags: Henry James Daisy Miller]
943 words (2.7 pages)
- Henry James' Daisy Miller and "The Beast in the Jungle" are first and foremost powerful tragedies because they employ such universal themes as crushed ambitions and wasted lives. And the appeal of each does not lie solely in the darkening plot and atmosphere, but in those smallest details James gives us. Omit Daisy's strange little laughs, delete Marcher's "[flinging] himself, face down, on [May's] tomb," and what are we left with. Daisy Miller would be a mere character study against the backdrop of clashing American and Euro- pean cultures and "The Beast in the Jungle," a very detailed inner diary of a completely self-absorbed man who deservingly meets his fate in the end.... [tags: Henry James, Daisy Miller, Beast in the Jungle]
2557 words (7.3 pages)
- Why did James create such a beguiling and bewildering character. Since the publication of James's novel in 1878, Daisy has worn several labels, among them "flirt," "innocent," and "American Girl." Daisy's representation of an American Girl of the late 19th century is evident. Her free-spiritedness and individuality reflect the social movement of the American middle-class. The “depths” of Daisy Miller that Kelley refers to could be read as “unsounded,” since the reader receives little insight to her feelings, and “unappreciated,” based on the perceptions of most characters.... [tags: Henry James, Daisy Miller]
1730 words (4.9 pages)
- Within each of us lies the potential for good and evil--virtue and vice. Our daily actions reflect the combination of good and bad in a world that is neither black nor white. In literature, however, characters often depict complete goodness or vice in a world that holds no room for a duality of nature. Winterbourne possesses a notion that Daisy Miller must be restrictively good or bad, but the concept is not as black and white as he perceives it to be. A realistic portrayal of Daisy Miller as an infusion of good and bad—virtue and vice—in a world full of gray increases her moral influence upon us, as we too, have inherent dual natures in an imperfect world.... [tags: Henry James, Daisy Miller]
1767 words (5 pages)
- Both Daisy Miller by Henry James and The Age of Innocence, based on the novel by Edith Wharton are either social commentaries or love stories set in corrupt society. The male leads, Newland Archer and Winterbourne, help to show, assuming the goal is commentary, the dishonest and frivolous nature of society. Newland and Winterbourne’s stories and characters run on corresponding motives, as they are the offspring of that society. Each character has an affair. Winterbourne’s is subtle, presented more as his single interest, but it is told that his presence in Geneva (at both the beginning and end of the novel) is for the purpose of “’studying,’” but “when certain persons spoke of him they aff... [tags: Henry James, Edith Wharton]
953 words (2.7 pages)
- Eliminating God in Daisy Miller, Huckleberry Finn, and The Country of the Pointed Firs The evils of the Civil War and the rise of empiricism caused many to doubt in an omniscient, all-powerful God. Under empiricism, any statements about metaphysical entities (e.g. God, Unicorns, Love, and Beauty) would be meaningless terms because they cannot be proven by the scientific method. But with a loss of faith in God, what becomes of morality? This essay will examine how Emily Dickinson, Sarah Orne Jewett, Henry James and Mark Twain wrote literature in this age coupled with war, inhumanity and despair in God. This essay will show that: (1) Dickinson destroys any reliance on the Bibl... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
2023 words (5.8 pages)