Study Questions and Essay Topics
1. What kind of character is Winterbourne? How might James have presented him differently if he had intended him to be a romantic hero?
2. How do you think James wants us to view the Millers’ relationship with servants?
Suggested Essay Topics
1. Why do you think James chose to call his heroine “Daisy Miller”? Do the names “Winterbourne,” “Mrs. Walker,” and “Giovanelli” seem significant or perhaps ironic in any way?
2. Discuss the importance of setting in Daisy Miller.
3. How does health function differently for different characters in the novel? In the case of Daisy’s illness, might any symbolism be at work?
4. Daisy makes two trips to architectural sites—the castle at Chillon and the Coliseum. How are they different? What, if anything, do they reveal about her character?
5. Discuss Daisy’s relationship with Mr. Giovanelli. How does it differ from her relationship with Winterbourne?
6. Is Daisy Miller more about our discovering what kind of person Daisy is or what kind of person Winterbourne is? Defend your answer.
7. Some of James’s contemporaries thought his portrait of Daisy insulting to Americans. Can you suggest why?
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