Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Interpreting Daisy Miller HUM 2212: British and American Literature I Fall 2012 Dr. Perdigao October 15-17, 2012.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Interpreting Daisy Miller HUM 2212: British and American Literature I Fall 2012 Dr. Perdigao October 15-17, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Interpreting Daisy Miller HUM 2212: British and American Literature I Fall 2012 Dr. Perdigao October 15-17, 2012

2 On James Henry James ( ) As “literary master” Born in New York City Father a religious philosopher Brother William America’s first notable psychologist and influential philosopher Life between New York and Europe England, Switzerland, France Prevented from entering the Civil War Life as observer Attended Harvard Law School in 1862, left

3 Transatlanticism Permanently settled in England in 1876 First part of his career—international theme: drama, comic and tragic, Americans in Europe, Europeans in America; The Portrait of a Lady (1881) as example Second period—social currents of 1870s and 1880s Last period—“major phase”— The Golden Bowl (1904), international and cosmopolitan subjects, epistemological and moral challenge to readers The American —“first successful treatment of naïve young American in conflict with the traditions, customs, and values of the Old World” (419) Daisy Miller (1878) as “new” American girl A “Study” Resisting both European and American social mores

4 Focalization Cultural displacement Expatriate Limited point of view Character limited by “self-absorption and class position,” “unable to see Daisy for who she is” (419) Use of a “focal character,” or narrator James’ technique Struggle for knowledge of characters, their world Limited information Romance, melodrama, pathos—tragedy The Bostonians (1886), The Princess Casamassima (1886), The Tragic Muse (1889): reformers, radicals, revolutionaries (419)

5 On Theory Focuses on work as playwright to match success of Daisy Miller —wrote seven plays, produced two—failures , return to fiction, experimental works “Dramatize, dramatize, dramatize” Showing rather than telling The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903), and The Golden Bowl (1904) as major works, psychological realism, international theme People making own realities through their “perceptions, impressions, and inner motivations” (419) American “innocence” as “willing refusal to see” Leads to disaster as well as insight

6 As Critic The American Scene (1907), based on travels to United States (first after nearly 20 years)—on change in America between the Civil War and World War I, the period he characterizes as the “Age of the Mistake”

7 Inception Daisy Miller (1878) as novella—or, as James called it, a “nouvelle” Conceived in Rome in the summer of 1877 Heard from friend Alice Bartlett gossip about an American “child of nature od of freedom” who had picked up a “good-looking Roman, of vague identity” (Moore 8) Wrote note “Dramatize, dramatize!” (8) Sent story to Lippincott’s magazine in Philadelphia, basing off success with submissions to William Dean Howells for the Atlantic Monthly that the American publishers were open to him (8); story rejected Sent it to London friend Leslie Stephen who published it in the magazine The Cornhill Magazine (8) Established reputation in London but he lost money No copyright laws, published in United States without payment Harper’s published; it sold 20,000 copies in weeks

8 Contextualizing Daisy Setting in Vevey, Switzerland (French speaking area, respite)—no man’s land, between “grim certainties of Geneva and the moral laxity of Rome” (9) Winterbourne Only known by that name in original publication (Frederick Forsyth in another edition) Winter from icy Geneva (10) Not a “typical” American (10) Eugenio, the courtier Mrs. Miller Mrs. Costello, aunt Giovanelli Mrs. Walker

9 Contextualizing Daisy Setting in Vevey, Switzerland (French speaking area, respite)—no man’s land, between “grim certainties of Geneva and the moral laxity of Rome” (9) Winterbourne Only known by that name in original publication (Frederick Forsyth in another edition) Winter from icy Geneva (10) Not a “typical” American (10) Eugenio, the courtier Mrs. Miller Mrs. Costello, aunt Giovanelli Mrs. Walker

10 Reading Daisy Leslie Fiedler’s comment in Love and Death in the American Novel —claim that American novelists “lacked the ability to portray women realistically,” only portraying them in the context of their relationship to men (Moore 37) James comes close here… Pitting values of America against those of Europe Daisy is separated from other Americans in Rome because they follow European way of life, seen here as shallow, superficial, and cynical Daisy as “honest, fresh and open” (37) Fiedler writes, “Daisy is... The prototype of all those young American female tourists who continue to baffle their continental lovers with an innocence not at all impeached, though they have taken to sleeping with their Giovanellis as well as standing with them in the moonlight. What the European male fails to understand is that the American Girl is innocent by definition, mythically innocent; and that her purity depends upon nothing she says or does” (qtd. in Moore 38)

11 Reading Daisy “‘I haven’t the least idea what such young ladies expect a man to do. But I really think that you had better not meddle with little American girls that are uncultivated, as you call them. You have lived too long out of the country. You will be sure to make some great mistake. You are too innocent.’ ‘My dear aunt, I am not so innocent,’ said Winterbourne, smiling and curling his moustache.” (64) “She seemed to him, in all this, an extraordinary mixture of innocence and crudity” (78). “ ‘They are very ignorant—very innocent only. Depend upon it they are not bad.’ ‘They are hopelessly vulgar,’ said Mrs Costello. ‘Whether or no being hopelessly vulgar is being ‘bad’ is a question for the metaphysicians. They are bad enough to dislike, at any rate; and for this short life that is quite enough’” (80). “ ‘In such a case,’ his companion answered, ‘I don’t wish to be clever, I wish to be earnest !’” (94)

12 Reading Daisy “ ‘The young ladies of this country have a dreadfully poky time of it, so far as I can learn; I don’t see why I should change my habits for them.’ ‘I am afraid your habits are those of a flirt,’ said Winterbourne gravely. ‘Of course they are,’ she cried, giving him her little smiling stare again. ‘I’m a fearful, frightful flirt! Did you ever hear of a nice girl that was not? But I suppose you will tell me know that I am not a nice girl’” (99). “‘Well,’ said Winterbourne, ‘when you deal with natives you must go by the custom of the place. Flirting is a purely American custom; it doesn’t exist here. So when you show yourself in public with Mr Giovanelli and without your mother-’” (99).


Download ppt "Interpreting Daisy Miller HUM 2212: British and American Literature I Fall 2012 Dr. Perdigao October 15-17, 2012."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google