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It is not uncommon that in the modern world there still exists an imbalance in gender. More often than not this tends to favor men and they are viewed as being superior to women in different societies whether in first world or in third world. Although there are a few societies that have given women more powers than men, very few can proudly show balance between people of both sexes. Henry James uses the story about Daisy miller to show that the society is yet to give women the respect they so much deserve. Daisy is the main character in the story and she moved from America to Europe where the two cultures are quite indifferent in the way they view women.
James first describes Americans as giving their women more freedom than the situation is in Europe as Daisy is seen by the Europeans such as Winterbourne who is from Switzerland. He views Daisy as a spoilt young flirt whereas Daisy was simply being herself as she showed every of her characters boldly. Even Winterbourne's aunt viewed Daisy with the same eye which shows that in European cultures women are not fully liberalized as the case is in America (James & David, 14). She despised daisy for agreeing to visit thetown with Winterbourne after having only talked to him for about half an hour.
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The American women are depicted as being more immoral as compared to those from Europe. Even though Winterbourne was interested in Daisy even from their first meeting, James made it look like it is Daisy who was tempting him whereas Winterbourne could also be adjudged as being the one misjudging the girl. She is only dressed up well but since that had not been a common look in Europe it is seen as being tempting to the men such as Winterbourne. "It seemed to Winterbourne that he had been in a manner presented. He got up and stepped slowly toward the young girl, throwing away his cigarette. " (James, 7). This little boy and I have made acquaintance," he said, with great civility." This is an indicator that although the Europeans carry the notion that Americans are extravagant and lose on morals, they are equally lose on morals but more hypocritical.
The Europeans also show double standards with the men being depicted as being the better of both genders. Winterbourne's auntie is not concerned about him being with daisy but rather because she thinks that he should get a "better" woman whom to her should not be the "spoilt" American women. Men are better placed if they come from Europe and so American men and men from other regions are second to them but even those from other regions are better than money. "If, after what happens--at Vevey and everywhere--you desire to keep up the acquaintance, you are very welcome. Of course a man may know everyone. Men are welcome to the privilege!" (James & David, 21).
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Henry James' work in the story is an ideal pointer on the way the society has had many differences within it and how every community thinks they it is the better side when compared to others. This kind of writing is very useful especially in the modern times as it can be used to help the different communities realize that there is no one better society than the other. Each one society has its deficiencies and so the only way to ensuring a peaceful oneness in the whole world is by accepting the differences and respecting each of the society and its practices. Struggling to show that one community is better than the other will only bring quarrels in the world as it can be seen that even those thought be the most civilized such as the Americans and the Europeans also have major differences.
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