How is realism used in Daisy Miller?

Literary realism is illustrated in Daisy Miller in the way that Henry James uses realistic and factual traits to describe his characters as regular, flawed people. Realism is also evident in the situations that develop in the novel, which ultimately separate Winterbourne and Daisy for good. Rather than romanticizing the story of Winterbourne and Daisy, James presents the realistic situation that occurs when two very different people cannot figure each other out.

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One of the many popular definitions of realism in literature explains the genre the following way:

a literary movement that represents reality by portraying mundane, everyday experiences as they are in real life.

This description is a salient factor that permeates the novel. Our main character, Annie P. Miller (or Daisy), is far removed from the role of the femme fatale embodied by characters such as that of the sultry Countess Oleska from Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence. She also lacks the gravitas, endless suffering, and karmic tragedies of the eponymous main character of Anna Karenina.

In a huge contrast to the previously mentioned characters, Daisy Miller is basically a "girl next door" who is pretty enough, smart enough, and charming enough to be well liked. Winterbourne describes her as

wonderfully pretty, and, in short ... very nice.

Winterbourne does not romanticize Daisy or put her on some sort of romantic pedestal.

Additionally, the way Daisy is described in the novel embodies a realistic...

(The entire section contains 786 words.)

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