Why is Strether an American? Wouldn't it make more sense for Mrs. Newsome to send someone French or British to get Chad? I am trying to figure out if Strether has to be an American because he ultimately gives up his own dreams to allow Chad to live in Paris...
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By making Strether an American, James is able to play out the stereotypical American ex-patriate longing for the European carefree life, versus the more stringent and Puritanical work ethic espoused by the American upbringing. Chad has already succumbed to the Parisian lifestyle, and Strether will ultimately make this same transformation.
Yes he is an American from Woollet MA with its provincial restrictions to Europe Paris where he finds a expansive life to his liking. You could go with a theme of America with its endless spaces yet a restrictive structured society in North Eastern United States to Paris with its limited geography but seemingly unlimited possibilties. Many themes in this story.