Innocent Daisy Miller

             In Webster's New World College Dictionary, innocence is defined as a very naive or simpleminded person. In Henry James,' Daisy Miller: A Study, young Daisy Miller is very innocent girl. She is an American girl traveling in Europe with her mother, brother, and her brother's teacher trying to fit in with the European culture. She meets a man named Frederick Winterbourne, narrator, who is born in America, but grows up in Europe. Winterbourne begins to like Daisy and they have a little romance that is cut short by her move back to Rome in the winter. When he goes to see Daisy in Rome, he finds her with another man and his heart is broken. Some people say that Daisy's actions in James' story make her selfish, immature, and disobedient. However, Daisy is innocent because she is a young American girl who is surrounded by a new culture and is being portrayed by a brokenhearted narrator, Winterbourne.
             In a preface to Daisy Miller, Pandora, The Patagonia and Other Tales, Henry James discusses his inspiration for Daisy Miller: A Study and the difference between Daisy Miller and the original person he observed. James writes how he observed a, "young daughter, a child of nature and of freedom...a good looking Roman, of vague identity, astonished at his luck, all innocently," (134). This observation turned into the his character Daisy Miller. In the story she makes decisions based on her age and easygoing personality. No one can criticize these decisions because she does not know the right thing to do based on the amount of years she has lived.
             The theme of Daisy Miller: A Study is how Americans act when they are around Europeans. In James' story he writes about, "The conflicts and misunderstandings between 'primitive' Americans and 'sophisticated' Europeans," (Scheiber 2,3). In the story Winterbourne is an Europeanized American and the Miller's are th...

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Innocent Daisy Miller. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 05:26, February 02, 2023, from