The Nameless Governess in The Turn of the Screw: Hero or Villain? Essay

The Nameless Governess in The Turn of the Screw: Hero or Villain? Essay

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Something is amiss in Bly. The nameless Governess has always been a person of interest in literature. She has been analyzed time and time again from a trusting standpoint; taking everything she says at face value. Taken with no thought of deception and that ghosts are real and the Governess’ is attempting to protect Miles, not harm him. Also from a psychological or Freudian perspective indicating she was mentally disturbed and kills Miles. Whether the Governess was simply a confused youth, thrust into a position beyond her ability and is further saddled with the tasks of protecting her two charges with ghosts or a manipulative shrew who means nothing but harm to those around her because her mental state is questionable. The Governess is mad.
In class it had been repeatedly suggested that the youth of the Governess is partly to blame for her inability to cope and manage her job and this contributes to her down cycle of lunacy. In reality for that time period in history she was not offered a position that many other women her age were not capable of and doing as well. Laura Ingalls Wilder was a school teacher from 1882-1885, she was fifteen when she started teaching and only eighteen by time she had finished because she had married ("Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home & Museum"). However, by today’s standards maturity and age and readiness would not be something we would consider of a woman younger in that field until, perhaps, the age of twenty-five. That is not as it was more than 100 years ago, women were starting families and in careers’ at much earlier ages.
The Governess is an entirely unreliable narrator. The potential for things to have been fabricated to make her own self look better. Also to prove to herself h...


... middle of paper ...


... of protecting him. Whether she knew that this is what she had done or not will never be solved, the mystery remains.




Works Cited
“Enotes.com" Henry James, The Turn of the Screw - Introduction. 2010.
enotes, Web. 15 Feb 2010. .
Heilman, Robert B. "The Freudian reading of The Turn of the Screw.” 1947. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1999. Print.
James, Henry, and Peter Beidler. The turn of the Screw. Bedford/St Martins, 2003. Print.
"Laura's History." Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home & Museum. 2004. Laura Ingalls Wilder
Historic Home & Museum, Web. 14 Feb 2010.
.
Spark, Publishing. "Analysis of Major Characters." SparkNotes. 10/2007. Sparks Publishing, Web. 17 Feb 2010. .

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