Jiffynotes    

Jiffynotes index page

\\ home \ Daisy Miller:
Part 3 (I)

Part 3 (I)

Winterbourne does return to Geneva the day after his trip with Daisy, and the story's action resumes in late January of the following winter. Winterbourne receives a letter from his aunt, reminding him of his promise to come to Rome, and down he goes to pay her a visit. Winterbourne has it in mind to seek out Daisy and her family at once. However, Winterbourne's aunt, Mrs. Costello, informs him that Daisy is carrying on here just as she did at Vevey: she has made friends with lots of Italian men, "the regular Roman fortune-hunters," and is always going around with them and bringing them to parties.

In Mrs. Costello's opinion, the Millers are "very dreadful people." Winterbourne suggests that the Millers, including Daisy, are only "ignorant -- very innocent," not bad at heart. But to Mrs. Costello, they are "hopelessly vulgar" She adds, "Whether or no being hopelessly vulgar is being 'bad' is a question for the metaphysicians. They are bad enough to dislike, and that is quite enough for this lifetime."

Winterbourne, who has been thinking on and off all winter about pretty Daisy Miller, is a little annoyed to hear that she has so many gentleman friends. As a result, he doesn't go to see her immediately, but visits other friends in Rome first. However, in the drawing-room of the apartment of one of these friends -- an "accomplished" American lady named Mrs. Walker -- he unexpectedly runs into the Millers: Randolph, Mrs. Miller, and Daisy herself.

Young Randolph is just as bad-mannered as ever, but is happy to see Winterbourne. Mrs. Miller hasn't changed either, and talks on great length about her illnesses. Mrs. Miller says she is disappointed in Rome, but tells Winterbourne that Daisy is having a terrific time there. It seems that Daisy has met a great many Italian "gentlemen," who have very kindly taken her into their "society." "Of course, it's a great deal pleasanter for a young lady if she knows plenty of gentlemen," concludes Mrs. Miller.

Before Winterbourne has a chance to reply, Daisy suddenly interrupts them. She tells Winterbourne that she's been talking to their hostess about how mean Winterbourne was to her at Vevey -- after all, he wouldn't stay there when she asked him to! Winterbourne, irritated by Daisy's teasing, dramatically points out that he has come all the way to Rome to see her. (Is this an exaggeration, since he's come to see his aunt -- or is it, in Winterbourne's mind, at least partly true?)

Amused, Daisy turns back to Mrs. Walker. She says she has a favor to ask: She wants permission to bring a friend to a party Mrs. Walker will be giving later that week. Mrs. Walker smilingly grants it. But then Daisy tells them who the friend is: an Italian man, an "intimate friend" named Mr. Giovanelli. It is clear that Mrs. Walker does not at all considered this a proper kind of friend for a young American girl to have, and Mrs. Walker hesitates, though she does not withdraw her permission to let Mr. Giovanelli come.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Part 1 (I)
Part 1 (II)
Part 1 (III)
Part 2 (I)
Part 2 (II)
Part 2 (III)
Part 3 (I)
Part 3 (II)
Part 3 (III)
Part 4 (I)
Part 4 (II)
Part 4 (III)
Part 4 (IV)



 






Copyright © 1999 - Jiffynotes.com. All Rights Reserved.
To cite information from this page, please cite the date when you
looked at our site and the author as Jiffynotes.com.
Privacy Statement