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Daisy Miller a Hero Essay

A hero is a person, whom no matter what the situation is, always seems to be able to approach situation with a fearless and courageous attitude, and can is often admired by many. The novel Daisy Miller by Henry James is a fictional story about the life of an American girl in Europe and the situations that she experiences. Daisy reacts to these situations with a fearless and courageous approach. Her actions seem to affect every character in the story and are misperceived by many.

Daisy consistently had the courage to stand up to the other Americans, the characters who adapted to the European culture, even though they continued to pressure her, and prevailed by not conforming to European society. Daisy is a hero in this story because of the way she approached and handled situations. A major conflict in the story is the clash of American culture and European culture. Daisy is constantly thrown into situations where she is pressured to conform to some traditional European way of doing things.

Daisy does not let this pressure get to her. She instead continues to act without fear of what might happen to her. The text shows many examples of this. A major cultural conflict that happened in the novel is when Daisy is walking around the Pinchio with Mr. Winterbourne and Mr. Giovanelli. Mrs. Walker comes up in her carriage and begs Daisy to get in because of what her reputation might become since she was walking around with two men ( ). After Daisy refuses, Mrs. Walker says “should you prefer being thought a very reckless girls? and even gets Mr Winterbourne involved by having him give his opinion which lined up with Mrs. Walker’s( ). After examining the text, the reader sees that Daisy responds with a very fearless and courageous way, which in a way can also be compared to a quote from Emerson’s Self Reliance, “to be great, is to be misunderstood. ” ““If this is improper, Mrs Walker,” she persued, “then I am all improper, and you must give me up”” is a quote that beautifully illustrates Daisy’s heroic personally by not being intimidated from the pressures of society.

Another conflict in the novel was that at certain places at certain times, the chances of getting malaria were very high. While many of the locals decided to stay away from these areas, Daisy chose to not live fear. This fearlessness that Daisy displayed, led to Mr. Winterbourne confronting her and Mr. Giovanelli at the coliseum late at night about her catching the Roman fever (). Giovanelli responded to Winterbourne by saying he informed Daisy it was a “grave indiscretion” which Daisy responded with prudence ().

Even now that Daisy was severely warned about the disease she still showed no fear and showed how she could be an inspiration to other women by saying she had a lovely time seeing the coliseum by moonlight and if she felt any danger she would take some pills (). “I don’t care,” said Daisy in a little strange tone, “whether I have Roman fever or not” shows how Daisy would not let fear dictate her life( ). Daisy Miller was a hero because of the fearless qualities that she displayed in the novel Daisy Miller.

She may not display the common stereotypes of other fictionalized heroes such as flying or x-ray vision, but she does have influence on people, especially women, on how they can act regardless of what culture they are from. This view on life is very important because it shows young women, that they are empowered to handle situations anyway they like. Even when she died, many people showed up to her funeral and admired her. Giovanelli even stated at her funeral that out of all the women she was the “most innocent ” ( ).


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