Yet it might as well have been one.
Joshua Barton Joshua Barton 1 Haunted: Though the story in question may be a work of fiction, the reader still takes for granted that what they read will be true.
While the standards of the real world may not apply to the narrative presented, within the context of the story it is taken as fact.
When something in the story goes against the world that has been established, it changes the reader's perception of the text and it can feel like a betrayal.
However, a skilled author can employ this tactic and still create a riveting tale by telling the story through one of the characters present in the text. This way, the author can mislead the reader without said reader feeling a sense of manipulation.
This 'unreliable narrator,' a term first coined by Wayne C. Booth, can take many shapes. They may be aware of their deception, as with Agatha Christie's narrator in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, or they may leave the truth obscured even once the story has been told, like the narrator of Yann Martel's Life of Pi.
However, these are both cases where the reader is made aware of the fact that the narrator has been dishonest; what happens if the narrator herself doesn't know that she has misled her readers? How could the person telling us their own story be unaware of manipulation?
In the case of the governess in Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, it is because in her mind, there is no lie.
The happenings she describes truly are happening in her eyes; it is only when exploring the governess's psyche utilizing the tools given by psychoanalytic theory that the reader begins to suspect that all is not as it seems. By applying Sigmund Freud's theories on the uncanny and repression, along with Carl Jung's concepts on archetypes, I will assert that the governess in the tale is suffering from delusions brought on by her general anxieties about how to perform her job and her repressed romantic and sexual feelings for her employer, and a mother-complex created by the interaction of these factors.
I Joshua Barton 2 will begin by defining the theories of Freud and Jung, before then applying these theories to the psyche of the governess. By doing so, I hope to say conclusively whether there is an actual haunting occurring at Bly, or if the only phantoms present are those that plague the shattered mind of the narrator.
Before applying specific segments of psychoanalytic theory, it may be helpful to outline some of the general concepts that make it up. As with many other literary theories, psychoanalytic criticism is the application of another set of ideas specifically to literature.
As the name implies in this instance, it is specifically the application of those ideas found within the practice of psychoanalysis. Thus, it is essentially a form of talk therapy, in which the patient is expected to be honest and open about their thoughts and feelings on past experiences.
Thus, the key factor when approaching anything from a psychoanalytical point of view is to recognize the hidden meaning stored deep in the subject's psyche. The ways in which one can accomplish this feat vary depending on which psychoanalyst is attempting to decipher the meaning.
As with any other literary theory, there are many people who contributed to shaping psychoanalytic theory into what it is today, and most of those who shaped psychoanalytic criticism were themselves psychoanalysts.
Perhaps the most important figure involved in the field was Sigmund Freud. Often considered the 'father of psychoanalysis,' Freud's work was instrumental to the creation of this school of thought.Henry James’s novella The Turn of the Screw has already been adapted many times, providing the source material for several films, two full-length ballets – by Will Tucket and Luigi Zaninelli –, an opera by Benjamin Britten and a play on Broadway directed by Harold Pinter.
An article I personally found interesting is Convention and Chaos in “The Turn of the Screw” by Marcus Klein from the Hudson Review (). It is one of the many scholarly pieces of critical essays that look and analysis the sanity of the governess in the novella.
It is a critical essay that makes you question her sanity a little bit closer than you normally would. Her declaration of this desire is resoundingly cheery, a note of optimism ringing through the impending doom. She imagines herself the captain and navigator of the situation and her passengers “lost.” As the novella goes on, she remarks that she is close to port or has just narrowly avoided a wreck.
In her imagination, she is steering events. Joshua Barton 1 Haunted: Psychoanalytic Theory & James' The Turn of the Screw There is an unspoken contract that we enter into every time we pick up a book. Though the story in question may be a work of fiction, the reader still takes for granted that what they read will be true.
The Turn of the Screw illustrate how these destructive faults in human nature destroy purity and innocence. Each step in the journey of the novel‟s main character represents the screw-turning.
Innocence and Experience Perhaps because literature so often focuses on human experience, it frequently covers the themes of innocence and experience. Just as there are many stories, so too are there many forms of both innocence and experience.
For many centuries, innocence and experience were interpreted primarily in terms of religion, with innocence denoting a.