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Paper Assignment: Analyze The Similarities Between The Characters Daisy Miller From Henry James' Bool Of The Same Name, And Huck Finn, From The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain

1154 words - 5 pages

For this paper I have chosen to analyze the similarities between Daisy Miller and Huckleberry Finn. Though the novels containing these characters seem to be of very different genres, with very different subjects and content matters, the two main characters are in all actuality very similar, both in personality and background.The first and most striking similarity between Huckleberry Finn and Daisy Miller is that neither cares a whit about social norm - what is proper; what is expected of them. The appropriate behavior of the day is neither acknowledged nor appreciated. Huck continually struggles with Miss Watson's rules for living in her house - clean, starched dress clothing, formal table manners, early to bed early to rise. He is bewildered by how a tight collar is better for a body than loose-fitting clothes one can move in, or how a fork can possibly be easier to use than one's hands. In Daisy's case the rules being broken were not quite so simple. She has no problem using table manners or dressing in appropriate fashion. Her rebellion comes in the way of drawing room manners. She wants to run around with whoever has her fancy at the moment; she sees nothing wrong with holding several suitors at once. The whole of appropriate society gossips left and right about her inappropriate traversing with so many men, and yet she can do nothing but laugh at them and be on her way. She goes so far as to throw it in their faces per se, by running around at all hours of the day and night alone with one or another of her suitors.What I would have to say is the most socially significant similarity Daisy and Huck share ties into the previous similarity. While neither of the two cares about social norms, there is the bigger picture not of two rebellious children, but rather of two independent minded, liberal people struggling against a closed minded, conservative society. Both have fresh, new ideas - Daisy with her liberated womanhood, and Huck with his personal freedom, even for black men. Their natural intelligence and willingness to think through situations on their own merits and follow their instincts allows them to come to conclusions that are right in their contexts but would shock society.Another social factor for both Huck and Daisy is that both come from the lower ranks of their classes. Both fit in to their social group in all obvious aspects, yet they are still only begrudgingly admitted, and are consistently reminded of this fact. Neither one's mistakes are easily forgiven, if at all. They are very critically watched, for each mistake simply more so confirms the fact that they are indeed trash, dredged from the slum of society. It is almost an impossible hole to climb out of, they begin in the bottom of it, and each mistake simply digs them deeper. There is no way to move forward, to come out on top. The standing they were born into is the standing they will die in, for society has no room for a swift change by little forces.Something else that...

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