I was anticipating much engagement and enjoyment from this work, the second I had read from James (the first was 'Lesson of the Master'), and found it rather disappointing. Its more like a high-schooler's rather decent and competent try at a novella.
I think most prof's have us read this not because it necessarily holds up today, but because it was James's first "hit" and because Daisy was a new type in literature. The problem with new "types" is that soon they are over-used and don't hold up.
This is still an enjoyable (and quick) introduction into Henry James. If you don't like his stuff, you won't like this.
We studied this story for my American Lit. class at university and I couldn't help but be annoyed at Daisy throughout the story. However, my prof was trying to show how amazing and iconoclastic she was. I guess it's something you have to discover for yourself.
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