Turn of the Screw by Henry James, Arthur Conan Doyle and Henry David Thoreau

Turn of the Screw by Henry James, Arthur Conan Doyle and Henry David Thoreau

Length: 821 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Throughout the Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, ambiguity is used purposely in respect to the reality of the ghosts. Without certainty the reader must guess and assume in order to determine if the ghosts are real or if they are conjured in the governess's mind. In this book there is more proof for the imagination of the ghosts. One source of evidence is the preparedness of the governess. At the beginning of the book the governess is being thrown into a situation that she is unprepared for. This unpreparedness was due to the life she lived before going to Bly. That life gave her little applicable experiences and leaving her always wanting attention, especially from men. Also, the governess feels the need to discredit the perfection of the children and by creating these ghosts this goal could be achieved. This need to seek a man’s attention and discredit the children suggests that the governess was never sane and imagined the ghosts.
When the governess entered Bly, she was a naïve country girl who was young. Up until that point, she led a “small, smothered life” (Chapter 3, page 1), which is not the type of life she wanted. That type of life had its insecurities. She always was worried about appearances, especially her’s. The governess always “expect[s] to come upon” (Chapter 13, page 2) a man who will judge her immediately based on her looks. This belief leads the governess to always be concerned about the way she is being perceived. Whether it be by Mrs. Grose, the children, the ghosts, or the master she desires to know their opinions. In particular, the master offers something to the governess that she has longed for. He offers her society. In her life with her “brothers and sisters and… cat and... dog at home”(Chapter...


... middle of paper ...


...overness’s self-esteem, because she was the same gender as the governess. Miles, on the other hand, went through things that the governess could not have because of the gender difference. Once the ignominious nature of the ghosts is applied to the children, they become less and less perfect in the governess’s eyes.
Overall, the governess was not fit to be in charge of the children. Her life did not prepare her for this job, especially the stress it came with. The added pressure, which she was not used to, that being a governess caused her to be “off her guard”(Chapter 3, page 2). Her desire to make herself look better than the children, also creates doubts about the sanity of the governess. In all the desire for attention from men and a need to discredit the children implies that governess is driven to create the ghosts in her head.


Works Cited

Turn of the screw

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay about The Hound Of The Baskervilles

- The Hound of the Baskervilles In the novel, “The Hound of the Baskervilles” written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the reader is quickly introduced to many of the key characters, the curse of the Baskervilles, and the mystery of Sir Charles Baskerville’s death. The full theme, tone and mood of the mystery; however, takes some time to fully materialize. Most of the information provided to develop the story’s plot is delivered relatively clear and uncomplicated. This is a mystery or suspense novel so obviously there is the element of foreshadowing and the introduction of some disruptive or alternative theories....   [tags: Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes]

Strong Essays
1901 words (5.4 pages)

Essay on The Hound Of The Baskervilles By Arthur Conan Doyle

- The aim of this article is to explore the tensions of English masculine identity in The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle in which men often feel entrapped by emotional, social and psychological roles imposed upon them during times of economic depression, imperialism and foreign competition. In nineteenth-century England, masculinity embraced a variety of components, including race, class, and gender. The concept of “manliness,” essential to the Victorians, underwent some changes: “To the early Victorian it represented a concern with a successful transition from Christian immaturity to maturity, demonstrated by earnestness, selflessness and integrity; to the late Victorian it s...   [tags: Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle]

Strong Essays
1025 words (2.9 pages)

The Speckled Band By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Essay

- The film adaptations of literary works can sometimes be a nightmare. However, they can also turn out better than the original work in some rare instances. In the case of The Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the movie was a better format for telling the murder mystery because of the movie’s ability to show rather than tell the audience what is happening, the clearer explanation of the plot, and the more in-depth development of the characters. In the movie adaptation of Doyle’s story, the audience is not limited to only reading or listening to dialogue to progress the story’s plot as it is in the book....   [tags: Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes]

Strong Essays
748 words (2.1 pages)

The Adventure Of The Speckled Band By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Essay

- Dr. Grimesby Roylott is depicted as the murderer of his step-daughter, Julia, in the short-story, “The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes was not guilty of killing Dr. Roylott; although, Holmes may have been able to handle the situation with more tranquility. Primarily, Sherlock Holmes had been hired to protect Helen Stoner; he had not been deliberately attempting to kill Dr. Roylott. Furthermore, Holmes was only using self-defense when he eyed the swamp adder....   [tags: Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle]

Strong Essays
731 words (2.1 pages)

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James Essays

- 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]

Strong Essays
717 words (2 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]

Strong Essays
1589 words (4.5 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]

Strong Essays
550 words (1.6 pages)

Ghosts in Henry James Turn of the Screw Essay

- 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]

Strong Essays
633 words (1.8 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]

Strong Essays
2219 words (6.3 pages)

Essay on The Governess's Desire in Henry James's The Turn of the Screw

- 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]

Strong Essays
574 words (1.6 pages)