An Unrequited Love in The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

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An Unrequited Love in The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

In "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James, the main character, the governess, is so deluded and lonely that she will do anything necessary to reduce these horrifying feelings and not feel them. She decides that the way to do that is to possibly find love and instead she seems to have found a strange infatuation with her employer. But, sadly because she is located in a country house in Essex, such a longing is not possible to define. When the governess realizes this, she seems to apparently replace her unreciprocated feelings in the shape of ghostly spirits. It possibly is her way of "getting out." Without fully realizing this, the governess has chosen to be an unreliable narrator. Seeing the ghostly spirits which make appearances in this invisible relationship, allows her to feel as though she, herself was a part of an invisible relationship. But in all actuality, there is no relationship because the employer seems to keep ignoring her. When the governess becomes tired of these ghosts, she turns to other characters to fulfill her "goals."

It seems that the governess starts seeing ghosts at the same time she desires to be in love. The young governess is instantly attracted to the "handsome, bold and pleasant" (p. 7) bachelor uncle of the orphaned children by whom she is hired. It also seems that she has an overwhelmingly obsession with how beautiful a person is. This overpowering feeling was the original incentive for her accepting the job as governess. The governess gives out the sense at the beginning of the novel that she may have been a little desperate seeing as she knew hardly anything about coming to Essex and jumped right at the chance of it. Her craving to ...

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...comes obsessed with and starts seeing his ghost. Finally, at the end of the novel she begins to look to Miles for a sense of belonging. It may even seem as if she wants to find love so badly that she smothers him to the point of death and kills him. He also may have died because she frightened him to death. In the last few scenes, the governess seems to frighten the boy so badly, they he starts sweating and breathing hard and she even starts to shake him. She longs for love so terribly that she believes Miles is Peter Quint. Finally, the governess has a "victory" at the end of the novel and she finally is able to control and manage everything she wanted to know before. The governess and her unreliable narrator poses far too many questions for answers but all the clues point to her infatuation being so strong in Bly, that she needs to have a feeling of belonging.
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