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Part 4 (II)

Part 4 (II)

However, something occurs at the end of the party which -- though it seems tiny -- marks a great change in the way Daisy is treated by the rest of American society in Rome. When Daisy goes up to Mrs. Walker to say good-bye, as polite people must always do at the end of a party, Mrs. Walker "cuts" her. That is, she turns away from Daisy, refusing to acknowledge or speak to her. Watching from across the room, Winterbourne thinks that for the first time Daisy must be realizing just what her reckless behavior makes other people think and say about her. When Winterbourne privately reproaches Mrs. Walker for her cruelty, Mrs. Walker only says, "She never enters my drawing-room again."

Winterbourne doesn't see Daisy at parties after that, so he starts going to visit her in her family's rooms at the hotel. He usually finds her with Giovanelli -- her mother is always out of the room, somewhere -- but Daisy never seems to mind being interrupted, and happily talks with Winterbourne and Giovanelli together. Winterbourne, once again, is confused by Daisy's attitude: if Giovanelli is really her lover, why doesn't she seem more upset when Winterbourne shows up? On the other hand, he likes Daisy more than ever for her obvious lack of hypocrisy, and her "odd mixture of audacity and puerility." Unlike many of the women he's had affairs with, Winterbourne feels that Daisy Miller could never frighten him.

Still, it is clear to Winterbourne that Daisy is very attached to Mr. Giovanelli, and American society in Rome starts to talk more and more about young Miss Miller and her Italian.

One afternoon while Winterbourne is walking with his aunt, Mrs. Costello, in the famous Roman church of St. Peter's, he spies Daisy and Giovanelli, who are also walking together. Mrs. Costello disdainfully mentions the things people say about Daisy and her friend. She's sure that Daisy is impressed by Giovanelli's handsomeness, and that the courier Eugenio introduced the two of them, hoping for a cut of the money if Giovanelli succeeds in marrying the wealthy Daisy.

Winterbourne says he doesn't think that's what's going on. He has asked questions about Giovanelli, and has concluded that Giovanelli is poor but respectable. He doesn't think that Giovanelli believes Daisy will marry him, and he doesn't think Daisy plans to marry Giovanelli. Mrs. Costello has her own opinions about this. Later in the afternoon, she sits on a little stool at the base of one of the church's great columns, gossiping with a group of other Americans about Daisy Miller's behavior. Winterbourne leaves in disgust. But when he sees Daisy and Giovanelli climbing into an open cab outside and driving away together, he also can't help thinking privately that Daisy is going "too far."

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)


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