Essay about Supernatural Events in Henry James's "Turn of the Screw"

Essay about Supernatural Events in Henry James's "Turn of the Screw"

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Turn of the Screw written by Henry James tells the story of a governess and her recollection of events at the country home of Bly. The story begins at a Christmas gathering where everyone is sharing different ghost stories around the fire. One man has a manuscript or diary of a former governess which details her experience at a “haunted house (302).” The audience begs for him to read it, and so he does. As soon as he begins to read the story, the book’s point of view shifts to the governess’s. Over the course of the governess’s interviews with her employer, she immediately falls in love with him. In an attempt to win her master’s approval, she becomes extremely protective over the children. She views herself as their guardian or rather their “hero” in shielding them from the ghosts that she assumes the children are communicating with. The question that strikes every reader is whether the ghosts perceived by the governess are real or not. This also questions the credibility of the governess’s narration. In reading Turn of the Screw, the governess is proven to be an unreliable narrator through her recollection of events at Bly. Because of the governess’s loves for the master and quest for heroism, her insanity is exposed through her hallucinations.
“I was literally able to find joy in the extraordinary fight of heroism the occasion demanded of me (324).” After the governess’s first vision of a ghost, she is delighted that so that she could use this opportunity as a tool to rise as a hero. She also comments that she would thus we able to “succeed where many another girl may have failed (324).” By rising as such a hero, eventually she would obtain the notice and approval by her master.
In chapter 2, the governess claims to have ...


... middle of paper ...


... the Screw, it seems quite clear that the supernatural events the governess records were merely only real in her unstable mind and were the result of some internal issue. Her insanity drover her through a chain of assumptions and hallucinations. Nonetheless, the book altogether was very ambiguous. It is rare that one would find information explicitly confirmed or established. Because of the book’s obscurity, one can draw many conclusions and opinions about the book. From reading this book, the reader will find that establishing a right or wrong answer is unattainable. Although one may be able to support their theory thoroughly, it is ultimately based upon the matter of one’s interpretation. However, no matter how you interpret the story, the credibility of the governess’ narration, will still remain questionable due to the book‘s obscurity of events and dialogue.

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