A Study of the Gilded Age Essay

2265 Words Mar 13th, 2008 10 Pages
A Study of Social and Economic Aspects of the Gilded Age Henry James and Abraham Cahan lived in the turn of the twentieth century, where social and economic corruptions were gilded by the extreme wealth of the few. This period also marked the beginning of a distinction between the European and American culture. Both authors artistically create in their stories the tragedy and drama of Americans in Europe and Europeans in America. James lived comfortably in both America and Europe, and it showed in his work "Daisy Miller: A Study" in which he creates a fairy tale land full of extravagant hotels, beautiful sceneries, sparkly blue lakes and well dressed people. Cahan was an immigrant living during the time of mass Americanization of …show more content…
They are always at home throwing parties and committing a sin of their own by disregarding other people's freedom to entertain themselves as travelers, while Daisy and her mother are always out and "rarely at home" (James 1531) living the culture and experiencing the people of the culture. James describes Mrs. Costello as "a person of much distinction, who frequently intimated that, if she were not so dreadfully liable to sick-headaches, she would probably have left a deeper impression upon her time" (James 1509). Readers can sense sarcasm in the quote, there is not much "distinction" about Mrs. Costello because she is a conformist. And her frequent "headaches" are use as an excuse to not interact with other Americans. The judgment of Americans seems to be limited in the European Americans social circle. Giovanelli is an Italian and "he thinks ever so much of Americans" (James 1522), Europeans have tremendous respects for Americans; it's just the European Americans that look down upon their own people. Characters like Mrs. Costello urge the American readers to keep their gallantry for the American culture. In Cahan's work, he illuminates the economic realities that resulted in the immigrant workers inability to keep their culture. Cahan constantly refers to the characters as "the finisher girl" (Cahan 1548) or " the baster" (Cahan 1548), Cahan informs the readers that the characters are so dehumanized, they do not have a name that

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