Read Daisy Miller: A Study in Two Parts by Henry James Free Online
Book Title: Daisy Miller: A Study in Two Parts|
The author of the book: Henry James
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.24 MB
Edition: A Henry James Book
Date of issue: October 8th 2010
ISBN 13: 9781434408846
Read full description of the books Daisy Miller: A Study in Two Parts:This little story catalyzed a lot of late 19th century debate about American values and European values and--particularly--the confident, un-blushing American girl who is not inclined to conform to the snobbish tastes and attitudes of the upper class people she meets as her family becomes wealthy.
"Daisy Miller" became a debatable type of American girl, Daisy Millerism a controversial kind of topic.
Contemporary readers should give some thought to how Daisy's major sin against expatriate society is that she spends time with and values the company of local people. Compare Winterbourne abroad, spending time only with people of means and breeding, to Daisy, who chooses to spend a lot of her time with Mr. Giovanelli, who is not--as Winterbourne's friends say--a treasure hunter but really a respectable and clever Italian man of modest means. (Daisy does not choose to spend to with scoundrels and criminals and men of low character, though Winterbourne's set sees her that way.) And then think about how middle class American kids backpacking around Europe and staying in hostels are Daisy's descendants, mixing and mingling with the local people because that's who interests them. And think of how in some ways contemporary horror movies about American kids running into trouble Europe--the Hostel films, for example--echo Daisy's troubles. The kids are too bold, brash, and confident, interested in local culture but on their own terms, and they run into trouble because of it.
Of course, James doesn't run blame in one direction in "DM"; Daisy's overconfidence and naivete are not the only factors contributing to her fate. Winterbourne and his people antagonize and irritate Daisy so much that she disregards even their good advice (about, say, staying out of the Colosseum). And Winterbourne never gets around to admitting to himself that he likes Daisy very much more than he likes the upper class women who scare him with their threats of social ostracism. He never notices how Daisy's interest in culture is tied not to snobbish intellectual achievement but to understanding how people relate to and care about things. E.g., Rome comes alive for her when Giovanelli explains it, and the Chateau de Chillon is interesting only when Winterbourne--rather than the dry, dull tour guide--is explaining it. (For his part, Winterbourne is constantly hoping that Daisy's lapses from social propriety mean that she will yield up her person to him in some naughty way, and he even makes arrangements for that sort of thing at Chillon. Contrast to Giovanelli.)
So it's a godo story, and it's short, and it deals with James's great Americans-scandalizing-Europe theme, so if you think you'd like to try out some Henry James, it's a great place to start.
Read information about the authorHenry James, OM, son of theologian Henry James Sr., brother of the philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James, was an American-born author, one of the founders and leaders of a school of realism in fiction. He spent much of his life in England and became a British subject shortly before his death. He is primarily known for a series of major novels in which he portrayed the encounter of America with Europe. His plots centered on personal relationships, the proper exercise of power in such relationships, and other moral questions. His method of writing from the point of view of a character within a tale allowed him to explore the phenomena of consciousness and perception, and his style in later works has been compared to impressionist painting.
James insisted that writers in Great Britain and America should be allowed the greatest freedom possible in presenting their view of the world, as French authors were. His imaginative use of point of view, interior monologue and unreliable narrators in his own novels and tales brought a new depth and interest to realistic fiction, and foreshadowed the modernist work of the twentieth century. An extraordinarily productive writer, in addition to his voluminous works of fiction he published articles and books of travel writing, biography, autobiography, and criticism,and wrote plays, some of which were performed during his lifetime with moderate success. His theatrical work is thought to have profoundly influenced his later novels and tales.
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