“Daisy Miller” essay

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Resemblance claim is used to establish a similarity between characters that adds significance to a claim and at the same time contrast the differences within the similarities. The resemblance claim provides a difference between the similarities, between the comparable characters with an interruption that provides an expression of value judgment between the similar characters. This essay uses the resemblance claim to compare the differences between the similarities between Fredrick Winterbourne in “Daisy Miller” and Gabriel Conroy in “The Dead”. The two characters are similar and yet different in many perspectives.

In the “Daisy Miller”, the chief protagonist is Winterbourne. James Joyce wrote the book in a third person which is very close to the mind of Winterbourne. The main character is a jobless young American who comes from a wealthy family and spent most part of life as a student in Europe. At the beginning of the story, Winterbourne is a young man who gained his secondary and college education in Geneva, Switzerland (James 5). The climax of the story is the Winterbourne’s struggle to define his feeling in Daisy, in an environment of displeasure felt by his fellow Americans abroad. In “The Dead”, Henry James describes harsh realities between souls and the society’s revolting truths. The story is set in Ireland. The writer refers to Ireland as “The Dead”, and a generous nation where strong personalities were attributed to women, whereas, men fell into the women’s trap but rose up again. Gabriel Conroy is the main character in “The Dead”. The climax of the story focuses on a dinner party attended by Gabriel. The author concentrates on Gabriel’s insecurities, means of survival, as well as, his self awkwardness, and the mechanisms he employed to survive under harsh circumstances he faced (James 36).  The focal point of the story culminates when Gabriel realizes that after many years in marriage he never understood his wife’s past experiences.

The development of the two characters’ revolves upon the realization on the meaning of something. The stories are similar in conjunction with the concept of epiphany, since they are both main characters that eventually see the whole picture of an occurrence or a meaning and experience that illuminates a deeper frame of reference. For instance, in “The Dead”, the author uses epiphany to make reference to the period in Gabriel’s life. In “Daisy Miller”, the only character that attracts attention is Winterbourne. Daisy is used by the author to evaluate Gabriel’s ability to grow beyond his narrow senses to a fully realized human being. The story illustrates Gabriel’s effort and failure to overcome the conditioning of a society because he cannot eventually recognize the meaning of something (Joyce 17).

There is an element of similarity between the two because in “Daisy Miller”, James Joyce wrote that, Winterbourne’s reaction to Daisy depends on the overindulgence of the circumstance that accords him a distorted view of self realization; hence, distracting him to behave manly. Moreover, his failure to treat Daisy humanly reveals the extent to which the values of readers are savagely inhumane rather than being civilized and well cultured.  James Joyce portrays Winterbourne as a representative identity. He is less rigid than other characters in the story, which are incapable of redemption from their ethical codes of respectability. Most of the interest in the story focuses on Winterbourne’s relations with Daisy, derived from certain important aspects of his traits and attitudes that diverge from the norms personified in his aunt and Mrs. Walker. Winterbourne can be taken as a type that represents both logic and justice that are characterized by personality’s attitude and behavior. It is the individualistic interpretation of his codes of behavior that is ignored by Daisy. However, the author reveals the character of Winterbourne as more vicious concerning Daisy’s attitudes, which makes Winterbourne’s character to be more dangerous in the development of the story (Joyce 32).

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