According to Daisy in How I Live Now, New York and the English countryside are like night and day; they couldn't be more different if they tried. Upon Daisy's arrival, she's stunned by the rustic, open, wild nature of the English countryside and the polite, civilized, and knowledgeable nature of its occupants. The quiet, the isolation, and the love she experiences are in marked contrast to her life back home—until the war hits, that is. War allows Daisy to see the darker side of England, but mixed in throughout are hints of civility.
Questions About Contrasting Regions: New York and England
Why does Daisy (and the author) spend so much time comparing New York and England? Does this serve a larger purpose in the novel?
Could Daisy have experienced a similar transformation if she'd begun her journey in England and moved to live with cousins in America? Or is there something about England that is intrinsic to her journey? Use the text to support your answer.
Do you think Daisy would have connected with and experienced the same sort of bond with her cousins if they lived in a place like she grew up in (say, London even) and weren't so markedly different from the people she grew up with? Why or why not?
Chew on This
In order to truly come into her own, first Daisy needs to be like a fish out of water, and by having her move from New York City to the English countryside, this happens even before war intrudes.
New York City and England aren't necessarily as wildly different as Daisy makes them out to be—part of what makes them seem so different is the way that she feels in each place.