Daisy Miller

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Mrs. Walker Character Analysis

Another of Winterbourne’s American expatriate friends, Mrs. Walker lives in Geneva but also has a residence in Rome. Mrs. Walker initially welcomes the Millers into her circle as fellow Americans in Rome, but she soon turns against Daisy, shocked by her embrace of free association with Italians, especially men, and by Daisy’s refusal to let Mrs. Walker show her the correct way to behave. Mrs. Walker becomes the ringleader of the group condemning Daisy’s behavior and abandoning her socially. In some ways, Mrs. Walker seems to consider Daisy’s behavior a betrayal of the unspoken pact among upper-class women, who cling to the small amount of freedom possible within gender-based limits. That Daisy refuses to align herself with these expectations threatens, according to Mrs. Walker’s point of view, to upend the very foundation of their society.

Mrs. Walker Quotes in Daisy Miller

The Daisy Miller quotes below are all either spoken by Mrs. Walker or refer to Mrs. Walker. 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

[Mrs. Walker] turned her back straight upon Miss Miller, and left her to depart with what grace she might. Winterbourne was standing near the door; he saw it all.

Related Characters: Daisy Miller, Mr. Winterbourne, Mrs. Walker
Page Number: 46
Explanation and Analysis:

Mrs. Walker has been seething with anger towards Daisy ever since she followed Daisy and Mr. Giovanelli to the park and implored Daisy to get into her carriage, and Daisy refused. On this night, Daisy has arrived late with the Italian in tow and has been her usual cheery, chatty self, failing to be properly muted and ashamed for her behavior. Mrs. Walker's painfully obvious dismissal of Daisy is the best revenge she can think of, and the best way she can find to show Daisy exactly how much she condemns her behavior. For Daisy, in turn, this is the first time that she is explicitly confronted with what others think about her, and in a way that she cannot easily dismiss or laugh off. 

Winterbourne, meanwhile, watches silently from the door. He has been watching Daisy all throughout the book, attempting to puzzle her out even as he avoids condemning her like the other characters, such as Mrs. Walker. But neither does he defend her: instead he remains off to the side, only a transcriber of Daisy's experiences. He does not participate in her joy of travel, but neither does he live her shame and embarrassment with her, even as he feels some of her pain from afar. Winterbourne is in some ways the ideal narrator, remaining at a disinterested distance, even as he shows the disadvantages of remaining at such a distance.

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Mrs. Walker Character Timeline in Daisy Miller

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Walker 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
Observing vs. Living Theme Icon
Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
Innocence Theme Icon
Female Independence Theme Icon
Daisy turns and declares that she’s been telling Mrs. Walker , the hostess, how “mean” Winterbourne has been. Winterbourne is a little annoyed that Daisy... (full context)
European and American Character Theme Icon
Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
Female Independence Theme Icon
Daisy then asks Mrs. Walker ’s permission to bring a friend to her upcoming party. Mrs. Walker, turning to Mrs.... (full context)
Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
Female Independence Theme Icon
...meeting Mr. Giovanelli. It’s the end of the afternoon, when many people are out, and Mrs. Walker doesn’t think it’s safe. Mrs. Miller agrees, saying Daisy will get the fever. Daisy smiles... (full context)
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Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
After fifteen minutes, Mrs. Walker pulls up in a carriage, her face flushed, and beckons to Winterbourne. She cries that... (full context)
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Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
Innocence Theme Icon
Female Independence Theme Icon
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 brightly that... (full context)
Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
Innocence Theme Icon
Mrs. Walker , her eyes tearing up, tells Winterbourne to get in: when he says he must... (full context)
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Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
Innocence Theme Icon
Winterbourne tells Mrs. Walker , back in the carriage, that her earnestness has backfired: Daisy means no harm. Mrs.... (full context)
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Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
Innocence Theme Icon
When Mrs. Walker marvels at how Daisy should have made a fuss about Winterbourne leaving Vevay, when they’d... (full context)
Observing vs. Living Theme Icon
Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
Innocence Theme Icon
Mrs. Walker asks Winterbourne to stop associating with Miss Miller, but he says he likes her very... (full context)
European and American Character Theme Icon
...call at Daisy’s hotel, but she’s not home either time. On the third day is Mrs. Walker ’s party, where she has gathered several specimens of European society, whom she likes to... (full context)
Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
Innocence Theme Icon
Female Independence Theme Icon
When Winterbourne arrives, he sees Mrs. Miller, though not Daisy. Mrs. Miller tells Winterbourne and Mrs. Walker that she feels frightened to have come alone. Daisy is dressed, she says, but started... (full context)
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Female Independence Theme Icon
...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 singing made them late. Mrs. Walker... (full context)
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Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
Female Independence Theme Icon
Daisy and Winterbourne begin 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,... (full context)
Observing vs. Living Theme Icon
Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
Innocence Theme Icon
Female Independence Theme Icon
...in the other room for the rest of the party. When Daisy prepares to bid Mrs. Walker goodbye, the hostess turns her back on Daisy. Winterbourne watches from the door as Daisy... (full context)
Judgment, Knowledge, and Knowability Theme Icon
Innocence Theme Icon
Female Independence Theme Icon
...acquaintances and seeing how they treat her coldly. Daisy starts to flush, and refers to Mrs. Walker ’s behavior the other night. (full context)