Henry James’ novella the Turn of the Screw is a highly ambiguous piece of fiction. Set in Edwardian England, a very naïve woman is left in charge of two young children. The beautiful Bly however appears to be hiding a few dark secrets. The appearance of two ghosts plays on the governess’ mind, she comes to the conclusion the children are in danger and being possessed by these two horrors. Throughout the novella James successfully creates a mystical atmosphere, his ambiguous style forces us to think twice about what is written and decide for ourselves whether or not this is purely a ghost story or something far more sinister.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” to express her opinions about feminism and originality. Gilman does so by taking the reader through the terrors of one woman's psychological disorder, her entire mental state characterized by her encounters with the wallpaper in her room. She incorporates imagery and symbolism to show how confined the narrator is because of her gender and mental illness. Gilman incorporates strong imagery throughout "The Yellow Wallpaper" to set the scene for the story and foreshadow the certain madness that is to come of the narrator. As the story progresses, so does the woman's declining mental status.
Most stories try to terrify in a predictable, more traditional manner, “The Red Room” by H.G. Wells is terrifying i... ... middle of paper ... ...nternal struggle, is supremely unaware of the total effects the wallpaper has on her. Fear is the first ingredient in any horror story, but when mixed in with a demented mind, as was the narrators, terror truly takes on an entirely new meaning. The paranormal, ghosts, spirits and demons are intangible to anyone but the narrator, but as she dives headfirst into her own reality she takes the reader deeper into the world she resides, where she is allowed to creep, and the only thing left to do is to watch the terror unfold. Works Cited Perkins Gilman, Charlotte.
Web. 28 July 2010. Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Kennedy, X.J. and Dana Gioia.
In his short story, “The Black Cat”, Poe addresses the very real and scary consequences of addiction, mental illness and domestic abuse. The horrific effect that these have on the family slowly unfold as Poe unravels the mind of the protagonist. While the narrator, in this case the protagonist, slowly slips into insanity with the aid of his drink, his wife silently transforms in the background, from a passive victim of abuse, to a defender of the helpless and weak. Poe builds suspense throughout the story, revealing some facts while withholding others. He deliberately leaves out these details forcing us to place the relationship between the wife and the narrator in our mind.
Consequently, the characters are able to refuse to acknowledge their burdens, but ultimately it will catch up with them. The author Henrik Ibsen wrote Ghosts to elaborate that fate is similar in the sense of a phantom by forever tormenting its victims. Ibsen depicts many characters as having shortcomings especially apparent when faced with virtuous hardships. The author specifically uses Regina, the maid, to showcase that even admirable morals fall victim to fate. One doesn’t want “To think that the glorious freedom of the beautiful life over there should be so besmirched” (18) by exemplifying Regina as a tormented soul by allowing her desires for a luxurious life to terrorize her conscience.
Just like the outside of the house is falling apart, so is Rodrick’s mental stability and sanity; Rodrick suffers inside the house and his mind is deteriorating and decaying. Keith Neilson writes how “The Fall of the House of Usher” is a Dark Romantic work because it contains a “haunted atmosphere, darkness, and evilness” (Neilson). Poe writings and works are heavily layered with Dark Romantic ideas to visually display the supernatural and mystical scenes that he presents to the readers. Edgar Allan Poe writes of evilness and suffering to expose the readers to the faults of humanity and the darkness that exists in the world. His powerful and dark descriptions not only leave a lasting mark on readers’ emotions but an impression on the literary world as
Wroth is conveying the theme of love in a decidedly negative way, for according to myth, the Labyrinth was where the Minotaur lived and before it’s demise, death was evident for all visitors of the maze. The speaker is struggling with every choice she may make and cannot rest or find aid until she finds the best way: “Go forward, or stand still, or back retire;/ I must these doubts endure without allay/ Or help, but travail find for my best hire” (10-11). She has several choices and each one is confusing and leaves her feeling helpless. The title of Wroth’s poem alludes to the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Theseus was an Athenian prince who promised to slay the Minotaur, which was located in the Labyrinth designed by Daedalus in Crete.
‘That it will take a very tangible ghost to frighten me’, shows a conflict between the superstitious and the sceptical. This builds up tension as we know that in most gothic stories, the sceptical are usually the ones to get punished. The narrator is mocking these other characters, which builds suspense as we know that in the end it will be he that will be hurt. Another way in which the writer builds up tension and suspense is by writing the story in first person. This makes us feel emotionally drawn to the character.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, tells the story of a woman struggling with her insanity. While the insanity is obvious, where it comes from is allusive to the reader. It is possible that her environment could spark the changes in her mental state, but her husband is not innocent in the matter. When environment and marital pressure are combined, Jane tries to escape from it all by trying to free herself. Jane’s new home seems to make her feel very uncomfortable from the beginning of “The Yellow Wallpaper” when she states “that there is something queer about it.” She says that John tells her the vacation home will be a good place for her, but even seems unsure of that proclamation herself (Gilman 956).