Daisy Miller, the Heroine He Created in Term Paper

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Daisy Miller, the heroine he created in 1878 in a novelette by the same name, Henry James styled a protagonist who is both quintessentially American and absolutely feminine. Indeed, beyond forwarding the action of the story itself, Daisy may also be seen as a device created by James to help his readers -- both American and European -- understand what it was to be a young American women in the decades just after the Civil War.

The story follows Daisy as she travels through Europe and encounters a number of compatriots who have become in many ways more European than the real Europeans: These resettled Americans are intent on enforcing the morality and mores of established (and in at least some ways antiquated) European communities. Daisy is herself not so much intent on violating these established ways of behaving as she is inured to them. As an American, they are not a part of her world.
James created in Daisy an attractive young women at the point of discovering her own dreams and what she wishes her place in the world to be. Throughout the novella, she tries to balance her own longing for independence with a desire to belong. To this end, she seeks the advice of older companions who are sometimes wise and sometimes misguided.

The plot of Daisy Miller serves as a symbol not only of the ways in which young women are often disapproved of by older men and women precisely because of their desire to garner for themselves a greater degree of freedom than that had by the generations that have come before them but also of the ways in which all Americans -- of both genders and many generations -- sought to make their own way in a wider world.

By setting out from her native Schenectady to explore Europe, Daisy attempts to expand….....

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