By Elizabeth Allen
An entire size research of James' use of the "American lady" heroine in his novels, from Daisy Miller via Isabel Archer to Milly Theale and Maggie Verver.
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My emphasis). Like the young women of Europe she seeks to please, but she knows precisely the cost of pleasing. If she does not abandon herself to evil, at least she knows that it exists; and she is remarkable rather for purity of manners than for chastity of mind. 38 As with the 'super-woman' of the 1970s, who was expected to excel simultaneously in the male career world and in the traditional feminine role of homemaker, an apparent radicalisation of the female image is in fact a further distortion, forcing the onus of her oppression on to the woman herself- appearing to give her greater freedom in order to demand exactly the same results, plus.
R. W. Butterfield, in his essay on The American refers to the readings of the text which find Newman incredible and unreal as a specific and historical individual. ' 13 The conception ofNewman is 'as much generic and allegorical as it is specific and realistic'. Yet within the text Newman's allegorical status is not a realisation of any other character's conception of individualism or capitalism; in fact to communicate his reality to an alien world, he searches for the means to represent himself and his qualities in an understandable form.
37). As Newman goes off to view architectural culture in a tour of Europe, we are reminded that: 'The world to his sense, was a great bazaar, where one might stroll about and purchase handsome things' (p. 62), and that Newman doesn't want to take his purchases too seriously: an undue solicitude for 'culture' seemed a sort of silly dawdling at the station, a proceeding properly confined to women, foreigners, and other unpractical persons (p. 62). On seeing Claire de Cintre, however, he recognises the 'culture' he has been looking for; embodied in a woman, it can be transformed for his purpose: he always came back to the feeling that when he should complete himself by taking a wife, that was the way he should like his wife to interpret him to the world (p.
A Woman’s Place in the Novels of Henry James by Elizabeth Allen