Writer Wednesday- Daisy Miller

It’s time for Writer Wednesday when I discuss another author and his or her book.

I have consciously been aware of media influencing what I read two times.
1) I read The Picture of  Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, because of James Blunt’s Tears and Rain: “Hides my true shape, like Dorian Gray.”

2) I read Daisy Miller by Henry James, because of the title of the Gilmore Girls episode, “Say goodbye to Daisy Miller”, in which this line is delivered: “The young lady acts up and her family ships her off to Europe? Say goodbye to Daisy Miller!” 

The book that I’ll be discussing this week is Daisy Miller, although Blunt’s title of tears and rain, does factor nicely into the topic. In short, Daisy Miller is to me a book about setting. It is told in two parts: near Château Chillon in Switzerland
and Rome, Italy. Both places I’ve been to and provided much of the interest for me in the story.

Setting can become a character in books. In  Daisy Miller, it seemed as though Daisy herself were part of the setting. I do not mean that she was static or in the shadows, that she was not a character in her own right. Rather, she was changeable with each part of the book and embodied the strength or the fragility of a particular location as they changed.

Her name also encompasses this. Daisy is a nickname, not her given name, and others have already pointed out that there is a play-on-words between the fragility and vitality of a daisy. I think that her last name also merits attention. Miller conjures someone who takes in the harvest and churns out a good. It implies changeability and progress, but also the passing of the seasons. Daisy’s character through the short pages of her story do that as well.

Join me on Monday, when I’ll discuss seasons and how they are used in writing.

My best to you all,

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