Essay on The Turn Of The Screw By Henry James

Essay on The Turn Of The Screw By Henry James

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“So many interpretations, so many exegetic passions and energetic controversies” (Felman). In The Turn of the Screw by Henry James there are many different interpretations. Readers use scrutiny to decode different parts of the text and create many different interpretations. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka forces readers to think what the true cause of the problem is. However, compared to The Turn of the Screw, the interpretations in The Metamorphosis is from a lack of context. Both texts get a deeper meaning and interpretation when put side by side and examined. The largest factor contributing to the similarities between the two books is ambiguity. Both novels create a craving in readers for more information or at the least a moment of clarity. Both The Turn of the Screw and The Metamorphosis depend on the opinion of the readers. However, fear, confusion, and sympathy create a different sensation for the readers in both.
Within The Metamorphosis and The Turn of the Screw the force that drives fear is ambiguity. This emotion causes readers to believe and interpret the work to reflect what the reader wants to see. In The Turn of the Screw the main conflict caused by fear is if the Governess is insane or truthful. Are the ghosts real or a figment of her imagination? fear is exhibited when Miles blows out the candle in the middle of a conversation with the governess. In this excerpt Miles states in an authoritative tone, “It was I who blew out the light, dear” (James 64). This is the moment many people believe that Miles becomes possessed by the ghost of Peter Quint. The demanding tone is a change for the young, innocent Miles who, as far as readers know, does not see the ghosts. Miles also calls the Governess 'dear ' which is not ...


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...t to a prestigious academy, they could hace encouraged mature behavior. Furthermore, a change in his mannerisms while being cared for by Peter Quint was never mentioned. Felman shows how it is up to the reader to determine the meaning by saying.“the readers innocence cannot remain intact” (Felman). As Felman states readers are forced to take the next step and think of the most gruesome ideas. Ideas like this leave readers feeling confused but, not to the point that they give up on the book. Instead what James did created further interest in the novel that seemed so dark yet, still followed moral codes. It is because of this that readers struggle to grasp the information resulting in a reader who is confused. Both Kafka and James use open-ended and unclear language. This creates a confused reader that is looking in multiple directions to decode the unnerving texts.

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