Character Analysis of Winterborne in Henry James' 'Daisy Miller'
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Winterborne: An Examination of Thought Process In the novella Daisy Miller by Henry James, the main character Winterbourne, exhibits one of the main characteristic of critical thinking: Intellectual humility. Intellectual humility is defined as having a lucid awareness of the limits of one's knowledge, not to mention a consciousness of any potential internal biases or ego (criticalthinking.org, 2012). Essentially, one does not believe one knows everything and one has a healthy level of curiosity about all the things one does not know. One is acquainted with Winterbourne's concentrated sense of intellectual humility the moment he meets Daisy Miller. To Winterbourne, Daisy is practically a strange, exotic creature; he's obviously never met a woman like her and his thought process reflects this. Thus, he does not assume to know anything about her, rather his thinking highlights everything he does not know. Midway through their conversation, the reader finds out that "Poor Winterbourne was amused, perplexed, and decidedly charmed. He had never yet heard a young girl express herself in just this fashion; never, at least, save in cases where to say such things seemed a kind of demonstrative evidence of a certain laxity of deportment. And yet was he to accuse Miss Daisy Miller of actual or potential inconduite, as they said at Geneva?... Was she simply a pretty girl from New York State? Were they all like that, the pretty girls who had a good deal of gentlemen's society? Or was