Study Questions for James
"Daisy Miller"
"The Beast in the Jungle"

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"Daisy Miller"
1. What are the conflicting rumors about why Winterbourne resides in Geneva?

2. In what specific ways is Winterbourne confused by Daisy Miller's behavior at Vevey? What conflicting characteristics does she exhibit to him? 

3. How does Winterbourne treat Daisy? Give examples of where he models his behavior according to principles of "gallantry." What other principles influence his behavior, besides gallantry? 

4. Explain the reaction of Mrs. Costello to the Miller family. Why does she consider them "hopelessly vulgar"? 

5. What codes of behavior does Daisy Miller violate in Rome? In particular, how is her behavior at Mrs. Walker's party offensive? What does Daisy think of Roman social customs? 

6. How does the narrator satirize Mrs. Costello's behavior at St. Peter's? 

7. What does Winterbourne think of the attitudes of Mrs. Costello, Mrs. Walker. and other expatriot Americans toward Daisy? To what extent does he share their views? 

8. What are Mr. Giovanelli's interests in Daisy Miller? How does he behave toward her and toward Winterbourne? At what points do Winterbourne's perceptions of him develop or change? 

9. Explain Winterbourne's reaction to the discovery of Daisy and Giovanelli at the Colosseum at night. Why does he tell her it "doesn't matter" whether she is engaged or not? 

10. What is Daisy Miller's final message to Winterbourne? Why does she send it? 

11. Why in the end does Winterbourne feel troubled in his conscience that he did Daisy Miller an "injustice"? Do you think he could or should have treated her better? If so, when and how? 

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"The Beast in the Jungle"
1.  James builds his narrative carefully in six numbered sections. Each section contains a central 
dramatic event that advances the plot. The first five of these events take place in dialogue between 
John and May; in the last section, May is dead, but John still feels her presence. Make an outline of 
the story briefly describing the central event (that is, discussion or realization or dramatic moment) 
of each section. This exercise will help you see clearly how the narrative develops. Where is the 
climax of the story? Groups 1, 2, 3

2.  James places images in each section to represent important developments in the relationship between John and May. Explain the significance of each of the following images: the lamplighter and the gas-jets (1481); the beast in the jungle (1487); the mask with eyeholes (1488); the plummet and the abyss (1493); the sphinx (1495); the door (1498); the "Jungle . . . threshed to vacancy"; "the Beast . . . stolen away" (1503); "the face of the tomb" (1504); "letters of quick flame" (1507). Groups 4, 5, 6, 7

3.  In a simple sentence, explain John's big mistake in life. In another simple sentence, explain what the Beast is. What chance happening brings John to these realizations? You can find these answers in 
section VI, but you need to read the whole story to understand them. 

4.  What is the tone of James's narrator? Find moments, before the final section, where the narrator’s tone and suggestion reveal John's selfishness and blindness.

5.  Some critics have detected the influence of Hawthorne in this James story. What qualities of Hawthorne do you find here? How does John Marcher compare to Arthur Dimmesdale? 

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