Grose, an older housekeeper Flora, an eight-year-old girl Miles, a ten-year-old boy Story Overveiw At Christmas time, a group of people in an old country home swapped ghost stories.
May 12, Investigating Ambiguity: The century old debate revolving around the 19th century Gothic novella The Turn of the Screw, written by Henry James has long sparked ongoing discussion about the books theme. Various critics take different stances on this matter, but the most prominent argument is by far the apparitionist vs.
Those who follow the apparitionist perspective believe that the novella is a tale in which a newly hired young governess begins to see ghostly entities in the manor of Bly, in which she is responsible for the care of the children of the house, Miles and Flora.
Apparitionists believe the ghosts that the governess sees are in fact the real, evil entities of former house employee Peter Quint and the previous governess Miss Jessel. On the other hand, non-apparitionist followers take the stance that the ghosts are not real beings, but that the governess is simply overcome by insanity.
Yet with both of these arguments, even profounder meanings must be drawn from the reader. These deeper and more complex ideas surrounding the novella are what struck a chord within myself as a reader.
While initially reading the novel, my mind swirled with various theories regarding the events of the book. Initially, I questioned the obvious, are the ghosts in fact real or is the governess simply insane? I personally came to the conclusion that the governess was overcome with insanity.
Other critics have attempted to provide their personal theories and approaches, I will expel these to you the reader, in an attempt to compile a multifaceted theory that encompasses the abundant amount of evidence composed by Henry James. Foremost, it is important to note that no single critical theory takes precedence over the next.
My goal is to present to you that although all of these critical essayists are correct in their thoughts, they are not correct independently, as they disregard the other theories set forth.
I aim to prove to you that ALL of the proposals regarding the novella work together to create an interwoven series of derangements that push the governess into a hallucinatory fit.
Grose and the governess. The first intriguing theory set forth by a literary critic is the Marxist theory. This struggle for dominance can be seen amongst the interaction between the governess and a fellow employee, Mrs.
The governess speaks to Mrs. Grose in a sarcastic and insulting tone, in addition to often finishing Mrs. This is due to the fact that Grose is socially and economically below the governess, she feels a sense of superiority over Grose and feels as though her voice is more important and more correct than that of her fellow employee.
This gives insight into the pressures the governess feels to live up to the standard high society woman that the house master expects her to live up to. Could this ever present pressure have pushed the governess towards insanity?
Perhaps, and perhaps the above statement also begins to reveals the impending pressures thrust upon the governess by her affluent employer. Yet despite these overwhelming pressures, the behavior of the governess also paints her in an unflattering light, readers often view her as cold, harsh, and arrogant.
This transitions into the next notion revolving around sexual repression of the young governess. His thought was that the governess was not truly seeing ghosts, but instead hallucinating due to her repressed sexual urges towards the housemaster, who does not reciprocate these feelings.
It is important to note a specific instance in which Flora and the governess are sitting by a lake. The governess sees the ghost of Jessel by the lake. This moment in time expresses that whenever the governess happens to stumble upon a sexual thought, she distracts the reader with the appearance of one of the ghosts, in order to conceal her true thoughts.
These hallucinations spawn from the urge to impress the house master whilst still hiding under the guise of an innocent and pure young woman. Yet again, the readers dislike for the governess is heightened, she is viewed as untrustworthy and some may even go as far as to say she is disturbed.
This relationship then transitions into yet another theory, regarding pedophilia. Some critics believe that this novella is a tale of pedophilia leading to the demise of a young boy.The Turn of the Screw dealt with a crazy(?) governess who see ghosts that no one else ever sees and takes them so seriously that in the end (I believe) she smothers poor little Miles.
Miles clearly wants freedom from the governess’s scrutiny and control, but we do not know exactly why he wants this freedom. We read page after page of the governess’s fears and conjectures, but the actual lines of dialogue from the other three characters are very few and almost absurdly cryptic and ambiguous.
In , the family moved a few miles to the village of Haworth, where Patrick had been appointed Perpetual Curate of St Michael and All Angels Church. Charlotte's mother died of cancer on 15 September , leaving five daughters and a son to be taken care of by her sister Elizabeth Branwell.
from Miles school saying he has been dismissed, the governess describes him in accordance with his actions as “an injury to his poor little innocent mates” (James 14) and his doings at a level “to contaminate” and “corrupt” others (James 15). Yet the governess's choice of words, especially of the word "executioner," shows two things: on her part, a degree of awareness that is more than enough to implicate both adults in Miles's death; and on James's part, a profoundly negative attitude towards these characters' "authority" and the way they exercise it.
What the novelist said later. On their return to London at the end of the holiday, the governess and the boys travelled by train, but Evelina chose to ride Pegasus most of the distance, about sixty miles! It took her seven hours to reach London as the day was windy, the road hilly, and the weather very hot.