Daisy Miller

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Mr. Giovanelli Character Analysis

Daisy’s Italian “friend,” and considered by many to be her lover—though the exact extent of their relationship is unclear. Giovanelli is a lawyer, and Winterbourne manages to find out that he is considered somewhat respectable, though not of the highest society. Given Daisy’s wealth and his comparatively bourgeois, middle-class status, Giovanelli—as everyone realizes—cannot hope to marry Daisy, but he seems to be fascinated by her in much the same way that Winterbourne is. Though Winterbourne does feel a certain kinship with the Italian, he is also annoyed by Giovanelli’s social extravagance, and the way he conforms to the expected behavior of a gentleman almost too perfectly.

Mr. Giovanelli Quotes in Daisy Miller

The Daisy Miller quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Giovanelli or refer to Mr. Giovanelli. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
European and American Character Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of Daisy Miller published in 1995.
Part 2: Rome Quotes

Winterbourne stopped, with a sort of horror, and it must be added, with a sort of relief. It was as if a sudden illumination had been flashed upon the ambiguity of Daisy’s behavior, and the riddle had become easy to read. She was a young lady whom a gentleman need no longer be at pains to respect.

Related Characters: Mr. Winterbourne (speaker), Daisy Miller, Mr. Giovanelli
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:

Winterbourne has stopped late one evening by the Coliseum, and is pausing to look at the romantic, picturesque scene and to recite some lines of poetry to himself, when he makes out the figures of Daisy and Giovanelli in the Coliseum. For Winterbourne, this is the last straw, and a moment of revelation. For most of the visit to Rome, Winterbourne has agreed with his aunt that there is something improper about Daisy wandering around with an Italian, but he has continued to insist to himself that this behavior is innocent and ignorant rather than conniving—even as he has also struggled to put his finger on Daisy's true character. Now that character seems to come to light without the shadow of a doubt. Only a dishonorable young woman could be out late at night with another man: she must be having an affair with him, Winterbourne concludes, and more importantly, she is not worth his time or respect. The mystery, what here is called a "riddle," seems instantly resolved, and although it is a relief for Winterbourne to finally understand, to finally feel like he "knows" Daisy and can categorize her, it is also painful for him to have to admit that he was wrong about her, and for her to lose her mystery and intrigue for him.

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“Anyway, she says she’s not engaged. I don’t know why she wanted you to know; but she said to me three times, ‘Mind you tell Mr. Winterbourne.’ And then she told me to ask if you remembered the time you went to that castle in Switzerland.”

Related Characters: Mrs. Miller (speaker), Daisy Miller, Mr. Winterbourne, Mr. Giovanelli
Related Symbols: Roman fever (malaria)
Page Number: 57
Explanation and Analysis:

Daisy has fallen seriously ill with the Roman fever after spending an evening at the Coliseum, where Winterbourne had encountered her and Mr. Giovanelli. Upon seeing them there together late at night, Winterbourne was shocked and disappointed: he decided that it must be the case that Daisy and Mr. Giovanelli are simply lovers, and that all the alluring mystery he had assigned to Daisy was a lie.

Now, Mrs. Miller's comments to Winterbourne complicate this scheme once again. Daisy's true motivations and character continue to be obscure, especially since her words are refracted through her mother, who can be flighty. Still, it appears that Daisy is at least aware of how the scene must have looked to Winterbourne, and is eager to insist that he need not be disappointed in or angry with her—indeed, she may even have stronger feelings for him than he believed. What remains unclear, of course, is the full extent of these feelings, as well as the reason for reminding him of the visit to the castle in Switzerland, apart from the fact that it is a fond memory they both share of a more "innocent" time.

“She was the most beautiful young lady I ever saw, and the most amiable”; and then he added in a moment, “and she was the most innocent.”
Winterbourne looked at him, and presently repeated his words, “And the most innocent?”
“The most innocent!”

Related Characters: Mr. Winterbourne (speaker), Mr. Giovanelli (speaker), Daisy Miller
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:

Winterbourne has encountered Giovanelli at Daisy's burial in a Protestant cemetery in Rome. No longer does Giovanelli look clever and dapper: now he is pale and sickly. Winterbourne lashes out at Giovanelli for having brought Daisy to the Coliseum, but Giovanelli (in a way that is not entirely satisfying) protests that Daisy would always find a way to do what she wanted to do.

However, Winterbourne's anger ebbs at these words of praise from Giovanelli. The repetition of the word "innocent" seems to cement that adjective as the most appropriate description of Daisy (while also casting into doubt yet again whether or not Daisy and Giovanelli really were lovers). Indeed, Giovanelli seems adamant that innocence is the best way to describe Daisy. Winterbourne, of course, has gone through countless cycles of believing, doubting, and provisionally accepting the idea that Daisy is innocent. Unlike Giovanelli, he phrases the word as part of a question; as for any aspect of Daisy's character, he knows now that any belief or judgment that he might have about Daisy can only be asked, not stated resolutely. He has believed throughout the novel that if he just observed Daisy carefully enough, if he reasoned through her actions logically enough, he would pierce the mystery of this alluring American girl. Not only has he failed to do so, but he has failed to fully live himself at the same time.

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Mr. Giovanelli Character Timeline in Daisy Miller

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Giovanelli appears in Daisy Miller. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: Rome
European and American Character Theme Icon
Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
Female Independence Theme Icon
...shyly says she doesn’t know this friend. Daisy says it is an “intimate” friend, Mr. Giovanelli. Mrs. Walker pauses, glances at Mrs. Miller, and then says she’d be glad to see... (full context)
Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
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...mother to leave without her, as she’s going to walk. Randolph says she’s meeting Mr. Giovanelli. It’s the end of the afternoon, when many people are out, and Mrs. Walker doesn’t... (full context)
Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
Innocence Theme Icon
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They pass the Pincian Gardens gate, and Winterbourne says he won’t help Daisy find Mr. Giovanelli. She laughs, then sees the Italian leaning against a tree. He is handsome, and wears... (full context)
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Observing vs. Living Theme Icon
Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
Daisy introduces the two men and they walk, each on one side of her. Mr. Giovanelli is polite, clever, and sophisticated, but speaks with little sense. Winterbourne thinks that the man... (full context)
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Winterbourne goes to fetch Daisy, who seems delighted to present Mr. Giovanelli to Mrs. Walker. Mrs. Walker asks her to get in the carriage, and Daisy replies... (full context)
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...just have to be improper, and then she promptly turns away to walk with Mr. Giovanelli. (full context)
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...to tell her he’s leaving. She hardly looks at him as he says goodbye. Mr. Giovanelli tips his hat extravagantly. (full context)
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Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
Innocence Theme Icon
...Villa Borghese at the edge of the Pincian Garden. In the distance Daisy and Mr. Giovanelli are seated on a bench. Winterbourne watches them wander toward the wall, where Giovanelli perches... (full context)
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Female Independence Theme Icon
Daisy doesn’t arrive until eleven o’clock, looking lovely, smiling and chattering next to Mr. Giovanelli. She goes straight to Mrs. Walker and introduces her to the Italian, saying his beautiful... (full context)
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Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
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...to talk. She says she was shocked that Mrs. Walker wanted her to abandon Mr. Giovanelli and join her in the carriage the other day, scoffing at the idea that this... (full context)
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...custom, which people may misinterpret. Daisy brightly says they’re not flirting anyway: she and Mr. Giovanelli are intimate friends. Winterbourne casually remarks that it’s different if they’re in love, and he’s... (full context)
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Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
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...like tea—which she says Winterbourne has never thought to offer her. Daisy remains with Mr. Giovanelli in the other room for the rest of the party. When Daisy prepares to bid... (full context)
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...to visit the Millers’ hotel, where they are often absent, though when they are there Giovanelli always is too. Much of the time it is only he and Daisy in the... (full context)
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Still, Winterbourne has to admit that Daisy seems to find Giovanelli fascinating: she is always asking him questions and ordering him around. One day Winterbourne is... (full context)
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Winterbourne says he’s asked around about Giovanelli, who is apparently respectable, though he doesn’t move in the finest circles. Daisy, he says,... (full context)
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...find Mrs. Miller, who is at home and says that Daisy is off with Mr. Giovanelli, as usual. Daisy claims she isn’t engaged, says Mrs. Miller, but she feels that the... (full context)
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Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
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...Palace of the Caesar on a fine spring day, strolling amid the mossy marble ruins. Giovanelli is at her side. Daisy calls that Winterbourne must be lonely, always walking alone. He... (full context)
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Daisy says Winterbourne thinks she’s with Giovanelli too much. Everyone thinks so, Winterbourne replies. Daisy declares that everyone is “pretending” to be... (full context)
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Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
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Daisy looks at Giovanelli, then back at Winterbourne, and says Winterbourne shouldn’t let people be so unkind. He protests... (full context)
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Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
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...He quickly retreats, but Daisy sees him and calls out his name. She rises and Giovanelli lifts his hat. Winterbourne’s thoughts turn to how dangerous it is for Daisy to be... (full context)
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...so pretty. Winterbourne tells her that people catch Roman fever from such beauty. He rebukes Giovanelli for leading her here, and Giovanelli says he’s not afraid for himself, and the lady... (full context)
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Winterbourne counsels them to leave immediately, and Giovanelli goes to get the carriage. Daisy doesn’t seem at all embarrassed, though after a minute... (full context)
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Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
Innocence Theme Icon
...that Daisy has asked her to tell him that Daisy was never engaged to Mr. Giovanelli—who has disappeared since Daisy has been sick. Mrs. Miller doesn’t think he’s such a gentleman... (full context)
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Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
Innocence Theme Icon
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...cemetery in Rome. There are more mourners than one might have predicted, given the scandal. Giovanelli is there, looking pale. Finally he says that Daisy was the most beautiful and amiable... (full context)