Daisy Miller Questions and Answers
by Henry James

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In Daisy Miller, what is gained by having Daisy die at the end of the story?

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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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bloomtwice | Student

Daisy miller's death is inevitable from the viewpoint of an author. Daisy Miller an enigma of the early 20th century simply could not exist in the confines of European high society. Flirtatious, wild, outgoing american women as she is cannot even comprehend the perversion her existence is in europe. Ironically her innocence is attacked(by gossip) and not europeans but euro-americans who dictate the ways of europe give highlight to her unbelonging in europe. Such a phenomena from the cultural perspective of Henry Jame's time simply cannot exist. The bad girl simply doesn't have a place in the world. One would ask why can't she go back to america and winterbourne and her would live their seperate lives? Closure is the answer. From a writer's perspective this short story cannot just end on a limb. Death or the marriage of Daisy and Winterbourne would be the only conclusion to this love story and death was more appropriate.