Henry James Scheiber, Andrew J. Embedded Narratives Term Paper

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Henry James

Scheiber, Andrew J. Embedded Narratives of Science and Culture in James's 'Daisy Miller'. College Literature 21.2 (1994): 75-88.

In this article, Andrew Scheiber explores the scientific concepts that lie in the social relationship of the story's characters. Scheiber, perhaps, found that a discussion of this would be appropriate to enable the reader of the novella understand the rationales behind the differences between the story's characters in terms of social relationship.

Scheiber discusses 4 subtopics in the article. First is the Introduction in which the encounters of Henry James with various scientific philosophers were told. Specifically on the theories of human variations, Scheiber discusses how theories of such were incorporated in the works of James. The second topic was Winterbourne as Scientific Historian. Here, Winterbourne's nature of categorizing his subjects, such as the observations he inferred about Daisy, was explained. The third topic was Culture, Aesthetics, and Morality. It was very apparent in the story that the life of Daisy as well as the lives of the other characters revolves around the social culture that confines the characters' time. Along with this is the characters' regard to morality that apparently was never lost especially in the eyes of Mrs. Walker and Mrs. Costello. The fourth and final topic was Winterbourne and Authorial "Molestation." Here, the confusion and struggle of Mr. Winterbourne between the norms of the civilization and his fondness on Daisy was discussed.

This article helped me draw definitions and characterizations of three elements of the story: Henry James, Mr. Winterbourne, and the culture and morality of the society. This article provided me with detailed description of these elements that I utilized to compare with my own interpretation of the story.

Ohmann, Carol. DAISY MILLER: A Study of Changing Intentions.

American Literature 36.1 (1964): 1-11.

In this article, Ohmann explores the styles of Henry James in illustrating the story, as well as in depicting the characters to the readers. Throughout the article, the characteristics of the hero and the heroine of the Daisy Miller novella were observed, as they differ in personalities and in perspective of interaction with the society. In addition, the examination of the descriptive styles used by Henry James to Mr. Winterbourne (the hero) and Daisy (the heroine), and the styles he used in creating the story were discussed.

Ohmann explains that James used several ironies as an approach in presenting the story. For instance, in a conversation between Mr. Winterbourne and Daisy, Mr. Winterbourne's mode of speech is formal while that of Daisy is natural and full of enthusiasm. Another is the contrasting feature between the European social settings and Daisy's American way of living. Ohmann basically enumerates a number of incidents in which James's style of employing ironies revealed part of the story's theme. In the near end of the article, however, Ohmann made some disapproving comments on how the author presented the character of Daisy to the readers. She discussed the confusing intention of the author when he shifted Daisy's character into new symbolism. On one side, nonetheless, Ohmann gave proportionate commendation on how the imperfection, as it seems, of Daisy's changing symbolism had made the story appealing to its readers.

This article helped me understand James's narrative approach. It also provided me with more idea of the contrasts between the European and American lifestyles, which in a way, facilitates my understanding and sympathy to the story's characters.

Kirk, Carey H. Daisy Miller: The Reader's Choice.

Studies in Short Fiction 7.3 (1980): 275-283.

Carey H. Kirk, in this article, discusses the characteristics of Mr. Winterbourne and Daisy as they reproach the American audience at the early part of the story. He also explained in this article the possible purpose of the author when he characterized the two protagonists as such, and how such characterizations, as they change, have reaped the sympathies of the readers.

Kirk equates the differing interpretations the readers have on the characters of Mr. Winterbourne and Daisy with the cultural attitudes of the readers. He suggests that the various literary allusions on James's characters, and the comparisons the author had made to characters of other literatures, reveal the shifting judgments to Daisy Miller's characters, particularly to Mr. Winterbourne. In the character of Daisy, on the other hand, Kirk specified several details of her personal background that James used as rationales against the negative perceptions on Daisy by other characters, such as Mr. Winterbourne, Mrs. Walker, and Mrs. Costello.

Kirk discussed the accomplishments of James's story in describing his characters.
The Bryonic allusions employed by James in the beginning and end of the story, and the shifts on sympathies the story gained from its readers, according to Kirk had engaged the readers in analyzing "Daisy Milly."

This article helped me see in details the reasons behind the unconventional personality of Daisy. Through Kirk's interpretations, I was able to understand some confusion I encountered about the characters of Daisy and Mr. Winterbourne.

Childress, Ron. James's Daisy Miller.

Explicator 44.2 (1986): 24-25.

Ron Childress discusses in this article the existence of fear in the two main characters of Henry James's novella "Daisy Miller," Daisy and Mr. Winterbourne. Most particular to Childress' discussion of fear, focusing on the use of the word "afraid" within the story, is the character of Mr. Winterbourne.

Mr. Winterbourne, as Childress discusses, used the word "afraid" in quite a number of circumstances in the story. Exploring Mr. Winterbourne's fear will help the reader understand his character. In one instance, James provided his readers with a mark to distinguish Mr. Winterbourne's fear. James isolated the phrase "I'm afraid" from the rest of his sentence in a particular dialogue. The fear of Mr. Winterbourne was also manifested in his cautious attitude of being intimate towards women, a fear caused by the unreasonable mind-set of Mrs. Walker and Mrs. Costello towards individuals like Daisy.

In contrast, Childress focused on the fearlessness of Daisy. He suggested that this fearlessness might be helpful and influential to Mr. Winterbourne to depart from his fearful attitude. However, worried by society's disapproval, Daisy had also demonstrated her fear when she attended Mrs. Walker's party. The article's author suggested that Daisy's use of the phrase "I'm afraid" was an infectious idiom of Mr. Winterbourne.

From this article, I was able to understand and learn the reasons why Mr. Winterbourne is occasionally disapproving towards Daisy - due to social norms that Daisy disobeys. This article revealed the consequences of matriarchy to the characters of Daisy and Mr. Winterbourne.

Barnett, Louise K. Jamesian Feminism: Women in 'Daisy Miller'.

Studies in Short Fiction 16.4 (1979): 281-284.

Louise Barnett discusses in this article how Henry James's insights on the role of women in society were illustrated in the story Daisy Miller. The characters of Daisy, Mrs. Walker, Mrs. Costello, and the rest of the feminine sector of the society, on how conventionalism confines women to a sphere that must reflect pleasing characteristics in the present civilization, are explored in this article.

Barnett describes the dilemma faced by women in a society controlled by social standards. Comparing to other works of James in which the female characters are confined with the terms of society, he described the "Daisy Miller" novella as an exception to the rule of female existence. Barnett states that from Daisy's character, an innocent woman judged by the society because of her natural behavior that defies the conduct imposed by a conventional and hypocritical society, such as that of the Genevan decorum sustained by Mrs. Walker, we can clearly see the restrictions that control the lives of women. In addition, Barnett also presented the conventionality he sees from the characters of Mrs. Costello, Mrs. Walker, and Mrs. Miller. On the other hand, Barnett conveyed Mr. Winterbourne as a representation of the masculine world that is privileged.

In conclusion, this article was a discussion and exploration of the conventional feminism Henry James sees among women in the European region and how it contrasts from the character of Daisy Miller. This article helped me understand the female characters of the story. Though it may no longer be appropriate these days, the article presented me with information on the conventional values of the past.

Page, Philip. Daisy Miller's Parasol.

Studies in Short Fiction 27.4 (1990): 591-601.

Philip Page, in this article, focuses his concern on the narrative approach of Henry James's "Daisy Miller." This was discussed in relation to the novella's subtitle. Page mentioned several possible reasons why James had incorporated the subtitle "A Study." The first is that the study of Mr. Winterbourne, as he often uses it within the story, may be a parallel basis of the subtitle. He also suggested that the study on the European society performed by Mrs. Walker is another account of the subtitle. Another possible reason to the subtitle is the reader's participation in studying the opposing characters of the novella, the motivations they have, and the cause and consequences of each event in the life of Daisy Miller.....

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