An Analysis of Cultural Conflict in Daisy Miller毕业论文
1. Introduction ———————————————————————————–1
2. Demonstration ——————————————————————————–2
2.1 The conflict in concept ———————————————————————2
2.1.1 Female conception ————————————————————————2
2.1.2 Sense of hierarchy ————————————————————————3
2.1.3 Attitude toward other ———————————————————————4
2.2 The conflict in behavior ——————————————————————–6
2.2.1 Social communication ——————————————————————-6
2.2.2 Expression of love ————————————————————————7
2.2.3 Way of treating people and dealing with things ————————————–8
- Conclusion ————————————————————————————9
Works Cited ————————————————————————————-12
An Analysis of Cultural Conflict in Daisy Miller
Henry James was an American-born British writer, his childhood was spent in New York City. At the age of 12, Henry went to Europe with his parents and long lived there. He has a nuanced observation of the upper life of the United States and Europe at the end of the 19th century. Henry James is one of the major figures of trans-Atlantic literature. His works frequently describe characters from the Old World (Europe), where it is beautiful, however, often corrupt, and alluring, and from the New World (United States), where people are often brash, open, and assertive. His protagonists are often young American women facing oppression or abuse. This is why he is best known for a number of novels showing “international theme” and conflicts between the United States and Europe. As for Henry James’s achievement in novel writing, critics have jokingly described three phases in the development of James’s prose: “James I, James II, and The Old Pretender.” Graham Greene said Henry James in the history of the novel is as solid as Shakespeare in the history of poetry. Hemingway said he tried to keep calm as Henry James did. (Henry James,Wikipedia)
Daisy Miller was James’s first work which had brought him instant success and great recognition. It is one of the representatives of his works in the earlier stage and also shows the contradiction between the two cultures. It tells the story of a beautiful American girl, Daisy Miller, she is pursued by her sophisticated fellowman, Winterbourne. Daisy Miller, an American girl living in a foreign land within different cultures, is misunderstood by others and lives an unhappy life. Finally Daisy dies because she cannot accept and adapt to another culture. Most of the scholars have also discussed the international theme and the portrayal of the characters in Daisy Miller. Wu Caiya analyzes the portrayal of Daisy Miller and many of the surrounding images, revealing the tense confrontation between the old and new continents in the way of life and ideas in “On The Image of Daisy in Daisy Miller”. Zhang Meng’s “Henry James’s International Theme and its Expression in Daisy Miller” analyzes three factors influencing Henry James’s choice of “international theme”, revealing the “international theme” as the conflict between innocent Americans and sophisticated Europeans, and exploring the underlying causes of this cultural prejudice and so on. However, little attention has been paid to the cultural conflicts between Europe and America.
So my thesis, taking Daisy Miller as an example, attempts to explore the cultural conflicts between the Old and the New Worlds of America and Europe and mainly show the contradiction between the two cultures from the perspective of concept and behavior. This thesis focuses on the following two parts: the conceptual conflicts and the behavioral conflicts. The conceptual conflict includes three parts: female conception, the sense of hierarchy and attitudes toward the other. The behavioral conflicts is also divided into three parts: social communication, expression of love and the way of treating people and dealing with things.
2.1 The conflict in concept
Culture is a kind of social phenomenon, it is a product of human long-term creation. The Cambridge English Dictionary states that culture is “the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time.” If the dictionary explanation is not detailed enough, in the words of anthropologist E.B. Tylor, culture is a complex whole which includes not only belief, art, morals, but also includes custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.(Culture, Wikipedia) So culture can be divided into two parts, the first is the concept and the second is the behavior.
2.1.1 Female conception