The use of ambiguity appears frequently throughout the novel and the reader is left to decide a lot on their own; Are the ghosts real?
A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by F. Dupee, Henry Holt and Co. I do not know who first propounded the theory; but Miss Edna Kenton, whose insight into James is profound, has been one of its principal exponents, and the late Charles Demuth did a set of illustrations for the story based on this interpretation.
According to this theory, the young governess who tells the story is a neurotic case of sex repression, and the ghosts are not real ghosts at all but merely the hallucinations of the governess.
Let us go through the story from the beginning. It opens with an introduction.
He is charming to her and lets her have the job on condition that she will never bother him about the children; and she goes down to the house in the country where they have been left with a housekeeper and some other servants.
The boy, she finds, has been sent home from school for reasons into which she does not inquire but which she colors, on no evidence at all, with a significance somehow sinister.
She learns that the former governess left, and that she has since died, under circumstances which are not explained but which are made in the same way to seem ominous. She is alone with the illiterate housekeeper, a good and simple soul, and the children, who seem innocent and charming. As she wanders about the estate, she thinks often how delightful it would be to come suddenly round the corner and find that the master had arrived: She is never to meet her employer again, but what she does meet are the apparitions.
Not long afterward, the figure appears again, toward the end of a rainy Sunday. She sees him at closer range and more clearly: The housekeeper, meeting the governess immediately afterward, behaves as if the governess herself were a ghost: The governess believes that he has come back to haunt the children.
Not long afterward, she and the little girl are out on the shore of a lake, the little girl playing, the governess sewing. The latter becomes aware of a third person on the opposite side of the lake.
This second morsel, as I watched her, she was very markedly and intently attempting to tighten in its place. The housekeeper tells her that her predecessor, though a lady, had had an affair with the valet.
The boy used to go off with the valet and then lie about it afterwards. The governess concludes that the boy must have known about the valet and the woman—the boy and girl have been corrupted by them.The Turn of the Screw Questions and Answers The Question and Answer sections of our study guides are a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss literature.
Home The Turn of . The Turn of the Screw Henry James. American novelist, short story writer, essayist, critic, biographer, autobiographer, and playwright.
The following entry presents criticism on James's novella. The Turn of the Screw's True Villian Essay The True Villian On the surface, Henry James’, “Turn of the Screw” has all of the qualities of an innocent old-fashioned ghost story, but underneath there is much more - The Turn of the Screw's True Villian Essay introduction.
The Turn of the Screw is an horror novella by Henry James that first appeared in serial format in Collier's Weekly magazine (January 27 – April 16, ). In October it appeared in The Two Magics, a book published by Macmillan in New York City and Heinemann in London.
CliffsNotes study guides are written by real teachers and professors, so no matter what you're studying, CliffsNotes can ease your homework headaches and help you score high on exams. Summary. A group of visitors are gathered around a fireplace discussing the possible horror of a ghost appearing to a young, innocent child.
A man named Douglas wonders if one child "gives the effect another turn of the screw," what would a story involving a ghostly visitation to two children do?