In the prologue, Douglas gave a detailed account of the master from the governess¡¦s point of view. She regarded him as ¡§handsome and bold and pleasant, off-hand and gay and kind; he struck her¡¨ (James 4). Later on we learn from Douglas that the governess accepted the job at Bly for the master¡¦s sake, and of course the generous salary offered by the master. Without any experience, the governess¡¦s passions for the master supported her to accept the job and confirmed her decision to take the challenge even though she feared not having the ability to accomplish the job. ¡§The moral of which was of course the seduction exercised by the splendid young man. She succumbed to it¡¨ (James 5). With the love for the master, the governess had the courage to visit the master again and eventually took the job. ¡§He held her hand, thanking her for the sacrifice, she already felt rewarded¡¨ (James 6). Her obsession with the master was somehow repressed owing to the absence of the master and the condi...
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...ose cannot be the proof of the reliability of the governess.
The issue whether the governess was insane or not may never be solved. Not only because critics seem to be able to find as much evidence as possible to prove their arguments but also, the reliability of the account of the governess colors the whole story with great ambiguity. We are not certain of the state of mind of the governess when she wrote down the story and when she related the story to Douglas. However, as we closely examine the state of mind of the governess, her reliability does appear to be in question. Beidler provided two readings of The Turn of the Screw and in the second one he declared: ¡§the governess saw only what she wanted to see¡¨ (Beidler 9). She was so exhausted from her prolonged insomnia that she envisioned a story with ghosts for herself to fulfill her growth as a governess.
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