Peter G. Beidler informs us that there have been “hundreds” of analyses of Henry James’ spine-tingling novella, The Turn of the Screw (189). Norman Macleod suggests that James himself seems to be “an author intent on establishing a text that cannot be interpreted in a definite way” (Qtd in Beidler 198). Yet, the vast majority of analyses of The Turn of the Screw seem to revolve around two sub-themes: the reality of the ghosts and the death of Miles both of which are used to answer the question of the governess’s mental stability: is she a hero or a deranged lunatic? As Beidler points out, “It is an amazingly fine creepy, scary, soul-shuddering ghost story or, alternatively, it is an amazingly fine psychological case study of a neurotic young woman” (189). These two views of the governess seem to dominate the analytical world in terms of readings, typically being one view or the other and seldom being anything else. Unfortunately, most of the myriad readings focus only on the visible events as related by the governess. However, there is much that we are not told but that is pertinent to an accurate reading. Bruce Fleming argues that what we are not told in The Turn of the Screw is as important as what we are told (135). Wolfgang Iser suggests that there are “gaps” or holes within the sequence of the text. He further suggests that it is the reader’s responsibility to fill-in those gaps (Qtd in Beidler 226). The facts “not in evidence” are equal in importance to the information laid out before us. What happens “off-screen” or “off-stage” is just as important as what happens in front of the audience. Much of what we do not see and are not told impacts what we do see and are told so g...
... middle of paper ...
...Couldn't Say.” Studies in
Short Fiction 26.2 (1989): 135-143. Academic Search Premier.
EBSCO. BYUI Lib. 25 Oct 2005. http://search.epnet.com/.
Groome, David, and Nina Grant. "Retrieval-induced forgetting is
inversely related to everyday cognitive failures." British
Journal of Psychology 96.2 (2005): 313-319. Academic
Search Premier. EBSCO. BYUI Lib. 26 Oct 2005.
James, Henry. The Turn of the Screw. Peter G. Beidler. Boston:
Matheson, Terence J. "Did the Governess Smother Miles? A Note on
James's The Turn of the Screw." Studies in Short Fiction
19.2 (1982): 172-175. Academic Search Premier.
EBSCO. BYUI Lib. 25 Oct 2005. http://search.epnet.com/.
Ormrod, Jeanne Ellis. Educational Psychology: Developing
Learners. 5th ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2004.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Henry James' The Turn of the Screw Peter G. Beidler informs us that there have been “hundreds” of analyses of Henry James’ spine-tingling novella, The Turn of the Screw (189). Norman Macleod suggests that James himself seems to be “an author intent on establishing a text that cannot be interpreted in a definite way” (Qtd in Beidler 198). Yet, the vast majority of analyses of The Turn of the Screw seem to revolve around two sub-themes: the reality of the ghosts and the death of Miles both of which are used to answer the question of the governess’s mental stability: is she a hero or a deranged lunatic.... [tags: Henry James Turn Screw Essays]
1589 words (4.5 pages)
- Hidden subjects, the corruption of innocence, gender, and the destructiveness of heroism, can all be argued to be the main theme of The Turn of The Screw but only one can really bring the truest theme out of the story by Henry James. Many argue that there is no theme, or more than one but I believe that Forbidden subjects is truly the source that really captures what the story is all about. We can easily come to this conclusion by looking at the items in the story and piecing them together. For example, the young male child named Miles suddenly gets kicked out of school, but the reason for the expulsion is never uncovered.... [tags: The Turn of The Screw, Henry James]
1615 words (4.6 pages)
- The Turn of the Screw: Ghosts Lawrence Kramer poses some interesting ideas about Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw mainly by discussing the ghosts in the story. He refers to the ghosts as revenants; “a specter, a ghost, a phantom, one who haunts, who returns, who walks again.” First, he implies that these revenants can only work when a person believes they exist. There must be something that makes a former person want to return to the living world from a state of death. However, this longing by the former person is not enough to make it a worthy revenant.... [tags: Henry James Turn Screw Essays]
633 words (1.8 pages)
- Narrative "frames" and Ambiguity in The Turn of The Screw Since it was written, Henry James' The Turn of The Screw has been acclaimed by numerous critics to be one of the most immaculate, engrossing and terrifying ghost stories ever produced. Harriet Waters Preston described it as, "a sheer mortal horror, like the evil dream of a man under the spell of a deadly drug"1, and Gertrude Atherton said, "[it] is the most horrifying ghost story ever written!"2 I will argue that it is the narrative frames enclosing The Turn of The Screw that are largely responsible for the reception the book has received.... [tags: Henry James Turn of the Screw]
2219 words (6.3 pages)
- Writings in Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw Leon Edel, in his biography of Henry James, tells of an instance after Alice James’ death when Henry James discovered a collection of letters he had written to her. James, aware that researchers would be all too interested in the details revealed in the correspondences to his sister, destroyed them. Writers who gain notoriety within their own lifetime become aware that every written word will be inspected. James knew that documents relating to an author can be important to prove intention in the author’s work, as well as to look at personal relationships, friendships, or simply to acquire the details of a specific event. He was fully infor... [tags: Henry James Turn Screw Essays]
6355 words (18.2 pages)
- The Turn of the Screw This novel was, surprisingly, interesting. The intensely complex and intricate (if not confusing!) sentences, upon first thought, made me expect an experience of complete, utter, and total confusion; however, they served not only to keep my interest in the novel – for I had to concentrate to grasp the full, rich meaning of his thoughts – but also to create in me a sense of enjoyment, that of being enriched with the experiences of the main character so that my life and that character's became inseparable, only it occurred not only with the main character, but with the entire plot at once – all characters, all scenes (to which I shall come late), all conversations...... [tags: The Turn of the Screw Henry James]
717 words (2 pages)
- An Unrequited Love in The Turn of the Screw by Henry James In "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James, the main character, the governess, is so deluded and lonely that she will do anything necessary to reduce these horrifying feelings and not feel them. She decides that the way to do that is to possibly find love and instead she seems to have found a strange infatuation with her employer. But, sadly because she is located in a country house in Essex, such a longing is not possible to define. When the governess realizes this, she seems to apparently replace her unreciprocated feelings in the shape of ghostly spirits.... [tags: Turn Screw Henry James]
1245 words (3.6 pages)
- Downfall of the Governess in The Turn of the Screw by Henry James In the governess's insane pseudo-reality and through her chilling behavior, she managed to bring downfall to Flora and Miles, the children of Bly. With compulsively obsessive actions, irrational assumptions, and demented hallucinations, the governess perceived ghosts bearing evil intentions were attempting to corrupt and destroy the children she had taken the role of care for. In reality, the governess herself brought tragedy to the children through her own selfishness and insanity.... [tags: American Literature Henry James Turn Screw Essays]
1288 words (3.7 pages)
- Deconstructing Henry James's The Turn of the Screw To those readers uninitiated to the infinite guises of critical literary theory, Henry James's The Turn of the Screw might be interpreted as a textbook case of an anxiety-ridden Governess fleeing an unpromising reality and running right into the vaporous arms of her imaginary ghosts. But to the seriously literate, the text is more than the story does or does not tell; it can be read in light of many - not just one - literary theories.... [tags: James Turn of the Screw Essays]
550 words (1.6 pages)
- The Governess's Desire in Henry James's The Turn of the Screw Henry James's The Turn of the Screw paints a landscape that is ripe for psychoanalytic analysis. He has chosen language and syntax that symbolize his main character's psychological fragmentation and her futile attempt to mend herself. Many of Lacan's theories emerge as the Governess reveals her motivations through her recollective narrative. The Governess enters the Imaginary Stage of Lacan's psychoanalysis theory when she sees herself in the mirror on her first night at Bly.... [tags: James Turn of the Screw Essays]
574 words (1.6 pages)