Read and answer questions “Daisy Miller”, English homework help

Part 1.

1. Based on the info in READ THIS FIRST and your own research/thinking, explain how Daisy Miller might be an allegory about the U.S., even though not a single scene takes place in this country. You will need to research and explain the term “allegory,” and cite your source(s).

2. Using II.A.3 as a starting point, analyze how gender plays a role in this story. What are the gender dynamics among the characters, and how significant is Daisy’s gender to how she lives and how others see/treat her? Do you think anything portrayed in this story is still an issue today for men and women?

II. A. 3.) – Pay attention to gender as you read the story. Think of repeated warnings to Daisy that she must conform or face danger. Notice these moments:

a.Mrs. Costello to Winterbourne at the start of Part II: “Of course a man may know everyone. Men are welcome to the privilege!”

b.Pretty Americans are “at once the most exacting in the world and the least endowed with a sense of indebtedness.” Indebtedness for what?!

c.Daisy’s declaration at the Pincio: “I have never allowed a gentleman to dictate to me, or to interfere with anything I do.”

d.Symbolism in, of all things, mustaches. What might they represent here?


1)You know how I love titles. This original title is Daisy Miller: A Study.

a.If realist literature is character-driven, and our central character is Daisy, then this essentially is a study of this woman. As you read, think of allllll the ways she is described, and Winterbourne’s repeated, fundamental question: Is she innocent or vulgar? Fresh or crude? In other words, virgin or whore? Just like a scientific study, a conclusion must be derived.

b.Remember, Winterbourne wonders when first meeting her: “Miss Daisy Miller looked extremely innocent. Some people had told him that, after all, American girls were exceedingly innocent; and others had told him that, after all, they were not.” Is Daisy gilded, i.e. pretty on the outside and rotten underneath, or is she truly golden inside and out?

2)Please analyze the names of characters.

a.Daisy Miller: What’s a daisy? Why would “Miller” be significant?

b.Randolph, who speaks with “hard r’s,” has a name with a hard “r.”

1)Why would this matter?

c.Winterbourne: American but ensconced in stiff, Calvinist, proper Geneva, perhaps “too long,” he fears.

d.Mrs. Walker, urges Daisy NOT to walk and “be exposed.” Ironic name, no?


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