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MonkeyNotes Study Guide-Daisy Miller by Henry James-Chapter Summary
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DAISY MILLER STUDY GUIDE

CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES

PART II: "ROME"

Summary (continued)

Winterbourne then scolds her for walking alone with Giovanelli and points out that he would never think of taking such a walk in the streets with an Italian young woman. Daisy grows impatient at the mention of custom and declares that she will change her habits. When Winterbourne points out that her habits are too flirtatious, she responds that all nice girls are flirts. When he suggests that she flirts only with him, she again accuses him of being too stiff.

He tries once again to explain the traditional European customs to Daisy; he says that flirting is an American habit and that European girls do not appear in public without their mothers. He warns Daisy that she should follow European custom when she is in Europe. Daisy, upset and insulted, tells Winterbourne that she and Giovanelli are close, intimate friends. When Giovanelli shows up, Daisy smiles, insults Winterbourne, and whisks off with her escort. For the rest of the evening, the couple sits together talking and rudely ignores the rest of the party and the guests playing music. As Daisy leaves with Giovanelli, Mrs. Walker rudely and intentionally turns her back on Daisy. For the first time ever, Winterbourne sees Daisy truly shocked and hurt. Winterbourne criticizes Mrs. Walker for her cruelty; she answers by saying that Daisy is no longer welcome in her drawing-room.


Winterbourne is now forced to go to the Miller's hotel to see Daisy, but she is rarely there; when present, she always seems to be with Giovanelli, often alone together. Daisy, however, seems to welcome Winterbourne, regardless of Giovanelli's presence, a behavior that perplexes Winterbourne. She is always in good humor and never acts jealously. He thinks he would never be afraid of Daisy, unlike other ladies he has been attracted to. This thought is uncomplimentary to Daisy.

One day Winterbourne and his aunt are strolling through St. Peter's when he spies Daisy and Giovanelli. The two of them discuss Daisy's outrageous public nature and her "affair" with Giovanelli. Mrs. Costello, who has never met the couple, notes that Giovanelli is quite handsome. Winterbourne tells his aunt that he does not think that Daisy is considering marriage. Mrs. Costello responds that the vulgar Daisy thinks of nothing. She believes that Daisy fools herself about finding a real gentleman, while Giovanelli is probably delighted in his good luck to have found a rich American. While Mrs. Costello gossips with friends about Daisy, Winterbourne watches her leave with Giovanelli. He still finds Daisy pretty and natural, and is angry about her attachment to the Italian. He decides to call on Mrs. Miller while she is alone and speak with her about Daisy's attachment to Giovanelli. Soon finding the opportunity, he questions Daisy's mother; but Mrs. Miller is unsure if the couple is engaged, for neither Daisy nor Giovanelli has told her anything.

Winterbourne realizes that Mrs. Miller is hopeless and will never act like a vigilant parent to intervene in Daisy's behalf. After this meeting, Winterbourne rarely sees Daisy, for she is constantly with Giovanelli, and the other Americans do not invite her to their gatherings anymore. Winterbourne worries about her ostracism, probably more than Daisy does. He accepts that she is simply too childish, uncultivated, and provincial; and he feels vexed over his inability to save her.

Winterbourne encounters Daisy and Giovanelli one day in early spring at the Palace of the Caesars. He immediately thinks that Daisy is prettier than ever. Giovanelli, tactful and aware, strolls away so Daisy and Winterbourne will have a chance to talk. Daisy knows that people think she goes around with Giovanelli too much, but she thinks they are only pretending to be shocked and don't really care. Winterbourne assures her they do care and will continue to snub her. To make light of the situation, Daisy teases that she is engaged.

A week later Winterbourne decides to walk through Rome in the moonlight. He passes the Colosseum and looks inside. He is tempted by its beauty, but then remembers that the malarial air of the place is dangerous at night. Before parting, Winterbourne notices two figures, one sitting at the base of the cross which stands in the middle of the arena. A woman's voice proclaims that the approaching figure looks like a lion approaching the martyrs. It is Daisy's voice. Giovanelli, playing along, says the lion will have to eat him before he can get to Daisy.

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