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Daisy Miller

Daisy Miller


by Henry James

Analysis: Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Christopher Booker is a scholar who wrote that every story falls into one of seven basic plot structures: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth. Shmoop explores which of these structures fits this story like Cinderella’s slipper.

Plot Type : Tragedy

Anticipation Stage

Frederick Winterbourne is hanging out around Vevay like a hipster at a coffee shop, bored and unimpressed with the regulars. Will someone or something new and exciting come along?

Dream Stage

Winterbourne embarks on an acquaintance (let's be honest, they're never really that tight) with the young, attractive, and vivacious American, Daisy Miller. Though it's never made completely explicit, Winterbourne undoubtedly has eyes for Daisy and imagines they might have a future together. Maybe old Winterbourne is about to have his world rocked. . .

Frustration Stage

Gossip about Daisy and her inappropriate romantic antics with the Italian lawyer Mr. Giovanelli swirls around Rome. Daisy's frustrated because her little inroads into the world of high-class expats are getting blocked left and right. Winterbourne's frustrated because, in his opinion, Daisy keeps acting out of line. Can't he see that that's why he likes her in the first place? Great, now we're frustrated, too.

Nightmare Stage

Daisy ignores Winterbourne and he begins to believe that she's going to marry herself to Giovanelli. All his hopes and dreams of Mrs. Daisy Winterbourne seem like they'll never be.

Destruction or Death Wish Stage

Daisy contracts malaria and dies. Winterbourne realizes she loved him all along and perhaps he should have made a move. Forget about not buying stocks in Apple years ago—this is some serious regret.

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