Daisy Miller by Henry James

943 Words4 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. Winterbourne's opinion of Daisy changes from acceptance to condemnation as his tolerance of cultural standards is clouded by the prejudices of the European aristocrats. Upon their first meeting, Winterbourne is enchanted by Daisy Miller. She was a pretty American girl who was very fresh and different compared to the unmarried women of Europe. Although, at first, Winterbourne was bemused by Daisy's talkative nature and wondered if she may have been a coquette, he deduced that Daisy was just acting in an American manner. Winterbourne found Daisy to be "extremely innocent" and "a pretty American flirt." Winterbourne's aunt, Mrs. Costello, was the first person to begin fixing social prejudices in Winterbourne's mind. When he mentioned the Millers, Mrs. Costello at once began to list all the horrible reasons that the Millers were not on the same social level as herself. As she dredged up gossip and talked of Daisy's "intimacy with the courier," Winterbourne began to make up his...
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