Ghosts in Henry James Turn of the Screw Essay

Ghosts in Henry James Turn of the Screw Essay

Length: 633 words (1.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview



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. Someone in the living world must believe that the revenant is actually there. Because of the feelings of “dread” and “desire” a revenant creates when it appears, most people find it difficult to disbelieve in this apparition. Therefore, it is fairly easyfor a revenant to work.

This is critical to the story because in order for the revenants of Quint and Miss Jessel to work, the governess must believe that they exist. Because of the governess’ belief, the revenants can wo...

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Henry James's "The Turn of the Screw": Are The Ghosts Actually Real? Essay

- Through out the short novella, 'The Turn of the Screw,' by Henry James, the governess continually has encounters with apparitions that seem to only appear to her. As Miles' behavior in school worsens so that he is prevented from returning, and as Flora becomes ill with a fever, the governess blames these ghosts for corrupting the children, Miles and Flora, and labels them as evil and manipulative forces in their lives. But why is it that these ghosts only seem to appear to the governess even when the children are present at the time of the sightings by the governess....   [tags: Turn of the Screw, Henry James]

Better Essays
956 words (2.7 pages)

Henry James 's Turn Of The Screw Essay examples

- 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....   [tags: Ghost, Ghost story, Ghosts, Paranormal]

Better Essays
1338 words (3.8 pages)

The Turn Of The Screw Essay

- In The Turn of the Screw the story moves further from a ghost story and more to the point of a psychological tale as the governess ' visions are disproved when her, Flora and companion Mrs. Grose fail to see the apparition that the governess sees at the lake.  In the beginning of the book we are introduced to Douglas, who is staying in a house through the Christmas Holiday, where it is tradition to all sit around the fire and tell ghost stories. He talks up the story he reads stating “It’s beyond everything....   [tags: Ghost, Ghost story, Ghosts, Henry James]

Better Essays
1615 words (4.6 pages)

Things are Not What they Seem to Be in Henry James’s The Turn of The Screw

- 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]

Better Essays
1615 words (4.6 pages)

Henry James' The Turn of the Screw Essay

- 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]

Better Essays
1589 words (4.5 pages)

Narrative Frames and Ambiguity in Henry James' The Turn of The Screw Essay

- 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]

Better Essays
2219 words (6.3 pages)

Essay on An Unrequited Love in The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

- 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]

Better Essays
1245 words (3.6 pages)

Writings in Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw Essay

- 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]

Free Essays
6355 words (18.2 pages)

Essay about Deconstructing Henry James' The Turn of the Screw

- 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]

Better Essays
550 words (1.6 pages)

Downfall of the Governess in The Turn of the Screw by Henry James Essay

- 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]

Better Essays
1288 words (3.7 pages)