Daisy Miller is a novella by Henry James that was first published in Cornhill Magazine in June–July 1878. James himself was an American writer who had moved to London in 1869 and then to Paris in 1875. He was therefore part of an expatriate American community writing about Americans in Europe from the perspective of someone intensely interested and personally involved in the relationships among Americans, British, and Europeans within a European setting. The protagonist of the novel, Frederick Winterbourne, is, like James, an American expatriate, and he provides the viewpoint through which readers see Daisy.
Daisy herself is often read as an emblem of American innocence. Her free and unconventional manners both intrigue and shock the other characters. American expatriates who have learned to succeed in European society by emulating more conventional European manners find her a threat to their position, potentially tarnishing them by association.
Daisy's death serves two major functions in the...
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