Analysis of Randolph in Daisy Miller

In: English and Literature

Submitted By florianuffer
Words 827
Pages 4
Florian Uffer
Dr. Van Ness
ENGL 203-05

Randolph: Small in Age, but Great in Meaning Throughout James' “Daisy Miller: A Study”

I have neither given nor received help on this work, nor am I aware of any infraction of the Honor Code.
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Critics of Henry James' “Daisy Miller: A Study” largely focus on main characters, such as Daisy, Winterbourne, or Mrs. Walker. In his preface to the novel, James exemplifies how Daisy defies society's objective to confine women in a rigid sphere, describing her as “... a child of nature and of freedom...” (James 267). In her critic, Dunbar demonstrates how James' international theme comes in effect as Mrs. Walker turns her back to Daisy, declaring, “Mrs. Walker, whose cutting of Daisy seals the young girl's social doom, is in the revision given symbolic value by references to her as ʻthe voice of civilized societyʼ...” (Dunbar, 314). In another critic, Kennedy elucidates Winterbourne's willingness to classify Daisy, stating, “But why is Winterbourne so obsessively determined to categorize Daisy in the first place when his interest clearly extends beyond what would be aroused by an anomaly in his mental filing cabinet?” (Kennedy). Those critics however, omit Randolph Miller, whose meaning in the novel cannot be overlooked.
Introduced early in the novel, Randolph Miller's meaning for the whole plot seems limited. However, him requesting lumps of sugar enables Winterbourne to introduce himself to Daisy Miller. Furthermore, Winterbourne uses Randolph as an object in his passive conversation between himself and Daisy. James exemplifies this, stating, “ ʻI should like very much to know your name,ʼ said Winterbourne. ʻHer name is Daisy Miller!ʼ cried the child” (James 1516). This deed made by Randolph, even though Daisy forbad it, triggers…...

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