Essay about Escaping the Governess in The Turn of the Screw

Essay about Escaping the Governess in The Turn of the Screw

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Escaping the Governess in The Turn of the Screw

 

At the end of The Turn of the Screw, great ambiguity exists surrounding Miles's death because serious questions remain about the credibility of the Governess who was the original author of the story. The ambiguity lies with the question of whom Miles was saved from at the end of the novel: the Governess or Quint. At the end of the novel the Governess holds Miles dead body in her arms and says, "...he has lost you for ever... We were alone with the quiet day, and his little heart, dispossessed, had stopped" (***). The "he" in "he has lost you for ever" could refer to Quint or the Governess. Additionally, the phrase "heart dispossessed" implies that some being lost possession of Mile's heart upon his death. Hence, someone was attempting to possess or had possessed Mile's heart during his life. At the end of the novel, there are only two beings in addition to Miles present: the Governess and possibly Quint. The Governess wants to believe that Quint is real and she is a maternal figure trying to save Miles from Quint's grasp, who may have introduced Miles to sexual information. The truth, however, is that Quint only exists in the mind of the sexually deprived Governess who creates Quint to help herself cope with her longings for relations with the master, who might be represented by Miles. Moreover, since the social position of the Governess forces her to live away from all men, her motherly feelings towards Miles blur together with her longings for the master. Upon critical examination it can be concluded that upon his death Miles is not saved from Quint, but from the erotic longings of the Governess.

 

The Governess characterizes Quint, who is only her hallucin...


... middle of paper ...


...e. As a result of the Governess's social position she is isolated from any males with the exception of Miles. Therefore, when Miles dies she is losing the object she uses for her sexual fantasies. The ambiguity about whom the "he" refers to is an essential part of the story. The story could never have been told without the ambiguity. The original author of the story is the Governess who is in denial that her motherly feelings for Miles have blurred with her own sexual desires that the social position of a Governess prevent her from fulfilling. She truly believes that her hallucination, Quint, is real. For this reason the truth about the Governess is not readily apparent through reading her story, but, after critical examination one must take the additional step and critically examine her story if one wants to find the truth hidden within her denial.

 

 

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