The Contrast Between American Girl And European Society

The excerpt is from the novella Daisy Miller, written by “Henry James “in 1878; pages80, 81. It is a realistic novella belonging to the genteel tradition of the American realism. The story is about a young American girl named Daisy from a newly rich family. Meeting Winterbourne who falls in love with her since the first time, and then traveling together to Europe. The young lady faced the European rejection because of her blameworthy behaviors. After a series of tries to help her, she was always refusing to obey the norms that helm her dying with a serious illness as a flower in winter.

This literary work was addressed to the American girls in particular because there was an outrage on the American girlhood and to all the girls in general in order to symbolize moral values. The general theme of this piece of work is proper by excellence; the messaged conveyed is obeying the norms of the foreign society as the expression said “In Rome do as Romans do”, otherwise it will be rejection and hardship. Besides, it must be noticed that not all what is seen is the truth as they figured out that Daisy was not that bad person.

The events of this passage took place in Rome, Italy that symbolizes the ancient civilization and the social examination for the young daisy, exactly at the Colosseum that represented death where Winterbourne saw her with Giovanelli at night under the moonlight.

The characters of this literary piece are Daisy (the protagonist) an extremely round character since she develop and changed throughout the story she has the motive of innocence that is face with gossip . She is a beautiful lady exceedingly spontaneous, the excerpt shows her flirt and stubborn. She symbolizes a summer flower. Mr. Winterbourne (the antagonist); amiable man and well educated. He is a flat character considered the central consciousness i.e. we know Daisy throughout him. He represented cold unlike daisy. In this passage we perceive his fed up and worry about her at the same time. In addition to the Italian Mr. Giovanelli (minor character) who was considered a gentleman for Daisy but for Mr. Winterbourne he is just an imitation of one .he was not taking things into serious and he was just enjoying his time.

The passage is narrated from the third limited unintrusive point of view because the author wad absent in the story , focused on one character (Winterbourne) to present his work , however he does not interfere and lets it to the reader to react on the story . Moreover, the plot arrives to its climax in this selection; when Winterbourne sees Daisy with Giovanelli in the Colosseum and decided that she is too unprincipled to trouble himself about her.

The writer in this work used a formal language, the style is overly dramatic. He used some Italian words like “signorina”. The tone found in this passage is full of anger contributed by irony .Whereas the atmosphere is more related to confusion and outrage.

The author decorated his work with many figures of speech .For instance, there is a simile in “…he looks at us as one of the old lions or tigers …”to show the anger of Winterbourne and the mockery of Daisy. Also, interrogation in”…we had the most beautiful time, haven’t we, Mr. Gioveneli? “To show the non interest and carelessness of the little Daisy.

To conclude, Henry James is known by the international them. He attempted in this literary work to represent the contrast between the American girls and the traditional European society. The author was trying to show the outrage of the American girlhood throughout Daisy. I think that this character was not living with norms, so how could she obey them? She was trying to impose her attitude of life to be accepted by the European society that was impossible. She was innocent and spontaneous in her own way and did want to change for any reason, that was her personality and ending up dying that proved the writer’s massage rightness that is to respect and obey the social norms.  

07 July 2022
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