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Daisy Miller

Daisy Miller


by Henry James

Daisy Miller Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Does Winterbourne respect Daisy more or less for her unconventional behavior?
  2. Winterbourne's mysterious lover in Geneva is an older woman. He also spends a significant amount of time with his aunt and Mrs. Walker. Why do you think he's prone to playing the role of the younger man?
  3. Can you identify a distinction between the narrator's view of Daisy and Winterbourne's view of her, or are their points of view identical?
  4. Do you think the American society in Europe treats Daisy fairly? Is her outsider status her own fault or does the blame lie with others? Why do you think her behavior is so troubling to them?
  5. Can you imagine such an uproar today? What would someone like Daisy, a young woman taken out of her usual context, have to do to generate a similar response now?
  6. How do you account for the absence of Daisy's father and both of Winterbourne's parents in the text? What effect does this missing information create?
  7. Who has more power, Mr. Giovanelli or Daisy? Why?
  8. When this book was initially published, many saw it as anti-American. Do you agree? Why or why not? How do you think America and Americans are represented in the text?
  9. According to your reading of the story, have perceptions of Americans in relation to Europeans changed from the late 19th century to today? If so, how? If not, why not?
  10. Follow the money. Nobody seems to work in this novel, except for Daisy's absentee father. But in what ways do other characters have "jobs"? In other words, how do they survive?

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