Ghosts in Henry James Turn of the Screw

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The Turn of the Screw: Ghosts Lawrence Kramer poses some interesting ideas about Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw mainly by discussing the ghosts in the story. He refers to the ghosts as revenants; “a specter, a ghost, a phantom, one who haunts, who returns, who walks again.” First, he implies that these revenants can only work when a person believes they exist. There must be something that makes a former person want to return to the living world from a state of death. However, this longing by the former person is not enough to make it a worthy revenant. Someone in the living world must believe that the revenant is actually there. Because of the feelings of “dread” and “desire” a revenant creates when it appears, most people find it difficult to disbelieve in this apparition. Therefore, it is fairly easyfor a revenant to work. This is critical to the story because in order for the revenants of Quint and Miss Jessel to work, the governess must believe that they exist. Because of the governess’ belief, the revenants can wo...
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