The Turn Of The Screw Essay

The Turn Of The Screw Essay

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In the famous novel, The Turn of the Screw, Henry James tells a story of a governess who

a bachelor hires to take care of his niece and nephew. Shortly after the governess arrives in

Bly, she starts noticing the appearances of a woman and a man. When the governess confides

with Mrs. Grose, she learns that they are ghosts and former employees of the Gentleman

from Harley Street. The governess begins to suspect that the children can see the ghosts as well

and tries to protect them. In the classic novel, The Turn of the Screw, the governess and the

children effectively reinforce the theme corruption of the innocent.

James uses many individuals to reinforce the key theme corruption of the innocent. The

first reference is to the Governess. Seeing the ghost could be the corruption of the Governess’

innocence. The Governess becomes consumed by the mere thought of the ghosts and at the end

of the novel, begins to act out in insanity. The Governess accuses Flora of seeing Mrs. Jessel, and

Flora responds by saying, “Take me away, take me away-oh, take me away from her! From me? I

panted."From you-from you!" she cried” (James 77). The governess is the only person who can

see Mrs. Jessel. Thus, it is immensely ambiguous, is Flora able to see Mrs. Jessel or is the

Governess corrupted by seeing the ghosts? Throughout the novel the Governess played a gallant

figure trying to protect the children, but ends up failing to succeed. Just before miles’ death the
governess makes Miles confess, “I was so determined to have all my proof that I flashed into ice

to challenge him. Whom do you mean by ‘he’? Peter Quint you devil” (James 100). The

Governess is resolute to make Miles confess. If Miles is refers to the Govern...


... middle of paper ...


...oks up to and loves. Peter Quint might be acting normally, not realizing the impact his

behaviour was having on Miles. Peter has deliberately corrupted miles, and the blame lies solely

on Peter Quint. He should have known his behaviour could have influenced Miles’ life.

As the final chapter of The Turn of the Screw closes, the reader is left with a strong

impression of the corruption of innocence in each character discussed. .James tells a story of a

young woman who got a job as the governess of Miles and Flora. The Governess experiences

unusual behaviour from the children and suspects the ghosts are corrupting the

children 's innocence. The Governess is a strong and loving women or she is mad and imagining

ghosts. In this classic novel, The Turn of the Screw, the Governess and the children effectively

reinforce the theme corruption of the innocent.

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