A Study of the Gilded Age Essay

2260 Words Mar 18th, 2008 10 Pages
A Study of Social and Economic Aspects of the Gilded Age Henry James and Abraham Cahan lived in the turn of the twentieth century, where social and economic corruptions were gilded by the extreme wealth of the few. This period also marked the beginning of a distinction between the European and American culture. Both authors artistically create in their stories the tragedy and drama of Americans in Europe and Europeans in America. James lived comfortably in both America and Europe, and it showed in his work "Daisy Miller: A Study" in which he creates a fairy tale land full of extravagant hotels, beautiful sceneries, sparkly blue lakes and well dressed people. Cahan was an immigrant living during the time of mass Americanization of …show more content…
James described Veney as "for the entertainment of tourists is the business of the place" (James 1501) from the beginning James hints the way American foreigners are perceived does not fit with the outer appearances of Veney. It is a place for the entertainment of the tourists but Daisy and her family, who are tourists, but they are not allowed much entertainment, for everything they did, they get criticized for. When Randolp describes his new home in Rome he says "it's all gold on the wall" (James 1520), since James was a writer during the Gilded Age, it was a way to describe the Miller family. On the outside the Miller looked like they would fit into the social circles because they are wealthy and dresses extremely well. However, their wealth gilds the fact that they are dislike by other Americans. Through this James presented the double standard a society has; society looks down upon the poor folks, but the Millers are still looked down upon because of how they earn their wealth, which is one of the reasons Mrs. Costello used to reject Daisy. It implies James own dislike for the European Americans social circle. James displays his aversion and the hypocrisy of the European Americans social circle. He describes Mrs. Walker as "one of those American ladies who while residing abroad make it a point, in their own phase, of studying European society" (James 1528), the social circle thought they are doing what was right or courteous by

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