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Word Count: 669
The incongruity between reality and appearance The idea of subtext is a metaphor for the manner in which the European-American social circle in Europe misunderstands the true character of Daisy Miller She is innocent and uncultured and incautious but the circle sees only the surface of her character and the actions that character takes They imagine a member of their social circle thus someone with the experience and knowledge to understand and exaggerate the mores and codes of the European culture acting in the way that Daisy Miller does They do not take the time to look beneath this pretense to find that she is naturally innocent acting on impulse instead of caution and convention She rebels not by having a great knowledge of the rules which bind the society and consciously deciding to throw them out the window but by being limited in her scope of experience and by refusing to change her natural ways in order to please a culture to which she does not belong She oversteps even these bounds but not in the manner for which she will be ridiculed and rejected by her compatriots The great theme of the disparity between reality and appearance is at its greatest strength in the relationship between Winterbourne and Daisy because of the conflict which roars inside of Winterbourne regarding the appearance he cannot overcome and the reality he cannot accept He constantly asks himself should she know better Yet he does not realize that she does not know better and will ruin herself because of it Knowledge as evil versus inexperience as innocence James explores the type of an American girl who is innocent of the knowledge of evil and immorality However she is immersed in an environment of an elusive evil concentrated in Rome and symbolized mainly in the dark foreshadowing of Daisys ruin in the shadowed cavernous scene of the Colosseum One better understands the hypocritical evil of the Euro-American social
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