Reading Guide: “Daily Miller: A Study” Someday my buried prose will kick off its various tombstones at once. (Henry James)
“Daisy Miller: A Study” (1878) *The original title of the novella included the subtitle “A Study”
Note the original title. As you read, consider what the story is a study of?
Where is the setting?
What is suggested by Winterbourne’s last name?
From where has Winterbourne just come?
Does Winterbourne have an occupation? If so, what is it?
Why is Winterbourne originally attracted to Daisy? How does he view her? What does Winterbourne have a great relish for?
Note Daisy’s name. What are possible implications?
The Millers are rich. Would you say that they are new money or old money? What is the difference?
What is a “coquette?” Is Daisy a coquette?
How does Winterbourne “use” Randolph?
What is Daisy’s view of Vevy?
Winterbourne concludes that Daisy is a “type” and a “category.” How has he typecast her?
Note the conversation about the two different ways to get to the castle. What is on Winterbourne’s mind?
Account for the way the Miller’s courier observes Winterbourne.
Does Daisy flirt with Winterbourne in Part I. Is she just a little flirt?
Who is Mrs. Costello? Characterize her. Why is Winterbourne interested in such a horrible old woman? Is Mrs. Costello old money or new money?
What are Mrs. Costello’s complaints against Daisy? Are they justified?
What is implied in Mrs. Costello’s comment about Daisy: “She is a young lady who has an intimacy with her mama’s courier”?
Is Winterbourne in any way influenced by his Aunt’s comments about Daisy?
What irony do you find in Mrs. Costello’s comment to Winterbourne: “You are too innocent”?
What do we hear about Mrs. Costello’s granddaughters?
Does Daisy look forward to meeting Mrs. Costello? Why? Note her language, especially words like “ever so much” and “dying.”
Note the conversation between Winterbourne and Daisy over the possibility of Daisy meeting Mrs. Costello. How does Daisy catch him in a deception? Do you think Daisy has ever been snubbed in her life before this incident?