Essay Observation in Daisy Miller

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He said to himself that she was too light and childish, too uncultivated and unreasoning, too provincial, to have reflected upon the ostracism or even to have perceived it. Then at other moments he believed that she carried about in her elegant and irresponsible organism a defiant, passionate, perfectly observant consciousness of the impression she produced. (43) The socialites in Daisy Miller's world aspire to a perfection, a nobility, and a superlative of character. But character is a misleading word; interiority is important only insofar as it reflects the assumed depths that come with an appearance of refinement, for the relationships in "Daisy Miller: A Study" are formed by observation, not by conversation. Winterbourne's…show more content…
From the start, Winterbourne is shown as a participatory voyeur. His greatest talent is in particularize female beauty into discrete parts, refining his vision of the whole into smaller, more appreciable pieces: They were wonderfully pretty eyes; and, indeed, Winterbourne had not seen for a long time anything prettier than his fair countrywoman's various features‹her complexion, her nose, her ears, her teeth. He had a great relish for feminine beauty; he was addicted to observing and analysing it; and as regards this young lady's face he made several observations. (7) Besides the visual blazon he writes on Daisy as a traditional weapon of subjugation (and which permits him, momentarily, to "mentally accuse" her face "of a want of finish" [7]), Winterbourne tries something equally dominating‹to usurp Daisy's own power of sight by judging her eyes only on aesthetic terms. In their meeting, Daisy is at first ostensibly pinned by Winterbourne's evaluative gaze of superlatives and particularization, but her eyes tell another story: "She sat there with her extremely pretty hands, ornamented with very brilliant rings, folded in her lap, and with her pretty eyes now resting upon those of

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