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Character Analysis in Daisy Miller

Character Analysis Examples in Daisy Miller:

Part I

2

"And that," she exclaimed, "is the young person whom you wanted me to know..."   (Part I)

Mrs. Costello disapproves of Daisy Miller, considering her a social inferior and a young woman whose behavior is not respectable and whose morals are questionable. She is appalled by Winterbourne's pursuing a relationship with Daisy. 

"Winterbourne observed to himself that this was a very different type of maternity from that of the vigilant matrons who massed themselves in the forefront of social intercourse in the dark old city at the other end of the lake..."   (Part I)

Winterbourne is contrasting Daisy's American mother to the mothers found in Geneva, suggesting that Daisy's mother is not as strict and protective of her daughter's social behavior. In contrast, European mothers watch over their daughters' social behavior and social relationships with vigilance.

"Winterbourne felt sore and angry..."   (Part II)

Winterbourne is angry with himself for misjudging Daisy and angry with Giovanelli for playing a role in Daisy's death. Selfishly pursuing his own interests by pleasing Daisy, the Italian consented to her foolish plan to visit the Colosseum at night, thus exposing her to danger she didn't understand but of which he was well aware. 

"this sudden revulsion from cautious criticism..."   (Part II)

Winterbourne's opinion of Daisy has changed dramatically. He no longer puzzles over her reckless behavior or attempts to find innocent or reasonable explanations for it that he might be able to accept. He no longer believes Daisy deserves respect.

"and the state of mind of Daisy's mamma struck him as so unprecedented in the annals of parental vigilance that he gave up as utterly irrelevant the attempt to place her upon her guard..."   (Part II)

Winterbourne is amazed by Daisy's mother's lack of awareness in regard to how unacceptable Daisy's behavior has become and how it is hurting her; he imagines that no other parent could have paid as little attention to a son or daughter as Mrs. Miller has paid to Daisy. He believes that she is so naive in regard to Daisy and Daisy's reckless actions that trying to make her understand is pointless. 

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