Henry James 's Turn Of The Screw Essay examples

Henry James 's Turn Of The Screw Essay examples

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Henry James’s Turn of the Screw may be considered a ghost story. If it is a ghost story, it musts feature genuine apparitions. If, instead, it is a realistic story, then there must be other explanations for what the governess claims to see. The governess claims sees two apparitions, Peter Quint and Miss Jessel, throughout the story. She believes that the ghosts are haunting the children that she is in charge of, Miles and Flora, who used to know Peter Quint and Miss Jessel. There are no cases where anyone other than the governess conclusively sees the ghosts, and there are other reasonable explanations told by the children. Therefore, Turn of the Screw is not a ghost story. Rather the ghosts are a fabricated piece of the governess’s imagination. She is so convinced that the ghosts are real that she becomes paranoid about the people around her, causing her to further believe that the apparitions are real. No matter how much the governess distorts what the children are seeing, she does not see real ghosts. Turn of the Screw is not a ghost story.
The governess becomes more paranoid and unreasonable the more she believes that the children know about the apparitions. After finding Flora and seeing Miss Jessel across the lake, the governess exclaims to Flora, “there, there, there, and you see her as well as you see me!” (120). Flora later says, “I don’t know what you mean. I see nobody. I see nothing” (122). Still, the governess believes that the children know about the ghosts. Later, the governess tells Mrs. Grose, “They know [about the ghosts]—it’s too monstrous: they know, they know!” (51). The governess, without evidence, wholly believes that the children are lying to her, and her paranoia increases the more she believes.
Despite th...


... middle of paper ...


...intentionally pay no attention to Miss Jessel, who can be seen across the lake by the governess. Therefore, it is likely that the apparitions are a figment of the governess’s imagination. If the ghost was close and visible, Mrs. Grose should have seen it.
Is Turn of the Screw a ghost story? There is no conclusive evidence to say that the story has real ghosts, and reasonable evidence to suggest that there are other explanations. The ghosts are not real. Rather, they are a made up part of the governess’s mind. Nobody sees what the governess claims to see. Even in ideal times to do so, Mrs. Grose sees nothing, and the children have plausible excuses. The governess still believes fully. However, she is interpreting the reality of the situation wrongly, and pressuring the children to confess to seeing something that they never saw. Turn of the Screw is not a ghost story.

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