Symbolism in Daisy Miller Daisy Essay

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All of this was represented in the figure of Daisy Miller. On the other hand, James also perceived this American entity as being and ugly American' who was uncultured, crude, ego-centered, and grasping. Randolph, Daisy's younger broth, perfectly epitomizes this other allusion.

Other symbolisms appear in the Coliseum where the place itself is symbolic of the ruins of a decadent empire -- again the symbolism of a meaningless, drift less life. Famed for centuries of martyrdom and meaningless cruelty and barbarity as site of gladiatorial games, the Coliseum is fitting scene for Daisy's young life to have met its abrupt end.

Daisy, herself, may be said to have been a symbol of martyred innocence, reminiscent of the Christian (and other) martyrs brutalized in that spot.

Interwoven in the scene is Winterbourne's act of analogically throwing Daisy to the lions (as the Romans did their victims long ago) as witnessed when daisy tells Giovanelli that "he looks at us as one of the old lions or tigers may have looked at the Christian martyrs!" In a way, Winterbourne did as much when he rendered Daisy's innocence as non-existent and her life not worth worrying about.

Rome and Geneva, too, can be aptly presented as symbolism with Rome with its decadence, glory and corruption possibly symbolizing the worldliness, artifice and insincerity on the one hand with culture and education on the other of the European.
Geneva, on the other hand, referred to in Daisy Miller as "the dark old city at the other end of the lake," simple and pristine may have symbolized the American, aka Daisy Miller's character, as artless, naive, and yet, uneducated, and provincial. Geneva, too, is closely linked with American values in that it is the birthplace of Calvinism, the forerunner and contributor to Puritanism, that later merged into the American Protestantism that so characterizes its nation and leads, at least according to Weber's theory, to its absorption with work and sobriety.

Rome represented glory and corruption, youth and vigor as well as death and decay. Daisy Miller went through all phases, both in reality and as conceptualized by Winterbourne (in other words, in the mind of her beholder). Starting off the story in the flush of youth, energy, freshness, and expectation, Daisy ends as Rome did ruined and destroyed. And her destruction was in both a moral and physical realm. Moral in that Winterbourne condemned her for her apparently loose morals, and physical in that she died an untimely death. In other ways, Daisy Miller died metaphorically, too, in that her death was unmissed and unmourned by the inhabitants.


James, H. Daisy Miller, Penguin. UK,….....

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