Daisy Miller Quotes
“I hardly know whether it was the analogies or the differences that were uppermost in the mind of a young American who, two or three years ago, sat in the garden of the 'Trois Couronnes,' looking about him, rather idly, at some of the graceful objects I have mentioned” (354).
James Henry transitions from a lengthy description of the city of Vevey to the introduction of the protagonist of his story. By closing in on a certain character, the narrator focuses the story on the experiences of Winterbourne. This quote establishes the setting and time of the story, while the narrator's tone remains composed and conversational. Interestingly, the whole story is a gossip about Daisy Miller, and the gossip seems to manifest itself in the narrator's flashback. By the narrator stating that he “hardly [knew]whether it was the analogies or the differences...in the mind of a young American,” it portrays the narrator's lack of knowledge about Winterbourne, yet he continues to talk about him. Thus, the introduction of the novel sets up the atmosphere of incessant gossip between individuals, even though it only describes the location and time of the events. Interestingly, at the end of the novel, the narrator once again takes over the story from Winterbourne, stating another piece of gossip about the intentions of his return to Geneva and the rumors of him that continued to circulate about his “studying.”
“I haven't the least 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” (370).
Winterbourne's aunt Mrs. Costello relays this message to Winterbourne with their discussion of Daisy. Mrs. Costello's warning to stay away from Daisy has no impact on Winterbourne in this instance; however, Mrs. Costello criticism of Daisy...