The Governess In Henry James's The Turn Of The Screw

561 Words2 Pages

The classic ghost story, the Turn of the Screw, is filled with loose-ends and ambiguity. Are the ghosts real or imagined? Is the Governess a heroine or anti-heroine? Are the children really as innocent as they seem? In the novel, Henry James rarely provides an in-depth character that the reader actually gets to know. From the young romantic governess, to the intelligent ten year old, James keeps his characters morally ambiguous in order to further the “Unsolved mystery” style.
The main character, the Governess, is the perfect example of a morally ambiguous character. It is impossible to label her as purely good or evil, and much debate of this novel is on the trustworthiness of her narration. The Governess is a twenty year old daughter of a country parson who accepted the job of caretaker of two children. She's something of a romantic, being swept off her feet by her employer and viewing her job as a kind of calling. However, behind the innocent young woman, there are two ways of viewing her character. Some defend her as a sane heroine, while others claim she is an insane anti-hero...

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