by Henry James
Daisy Miller Innocence Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Part.Paragraph)
How did Miss Daisy Miller know that there was a charmer in Geneva? Winterbourne, who denied the existence of such a person, was quite unable to discover, and he was divided between amazement at the rapidity of her induction and amusement at the frankness of her persiflage. She seemed to him, in all this, an extraordinary mixture of innocence and crudity (1.255)
Daisy has some pretty impressive psychic gifts for an innocent know-nothing. Winterbourne is shocked that Daisy knows he has a lover. Why? Because it means that she thinks of such things. Naughty!
The news that Daisy Miller was surrounded by half a dozen wonderful mustaches checked Winterbourne's impulse to go straightway to see her. He had, perhaps, not definitely flattered himself that he had made an ineffaceable impression upon her heart, but he was annoyed at hearing of a state of affairs so little in harmony with an image that had lately flitted in and out of his own meditations; the image of a very pretty girl looking out of an old Roman window and asking herself urgently when Mr. Winterbourne would arrive. (2.10)
Winterbourne wants to think of Daisy as a virgin in a tower, pining for her prince (read: him). But she's no Sleeping Beauty—she's got more mustachioed admirers than an indie singer-songwriter at a mixology bar.
She showed no displeasure at her tete-a-tete with Giovanelli being interrupted; she could chatter as freshly and freely with two gentlemen as with one; there was always, in her conversation, the same odd mixture of audacity and puerility. Winterbourne remarked to himself that if she was seriously interested in Giovanelli, it was very singular that she should not take more trouble to preserve the sanctity of their interviews; and he liked her the more for her innocent-looking indifference and her apparently inexhaustible good humor. (2.176)
Is she or isn't she? The uncertainty of Daisy's innocence is driving him absolutely wild.