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Turn of the Screw

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Turn of the Screw

Henry's James novella, The Turn of the Screw is a complex interaction between the living and the dead and has become a well-known debate focusing on is this novella a ghost story or study of a woman who suffered from psychological issues. The plot revolves around the main character that is governess who is suffering from sexual repression and she only sees ghosts when she is alone or preoccupied with fantasies. She had a desire to fulfill her role in the house and created relationships that she saw fit in her mind. As the reader read the novella and watched the film the major difference between them both is the governess herself.

When the governess finally began to work for the uncle she had an urge to seek relationships to help her understand her role and she continued to return to romantic relationships as the organized model for just about all the relationships she observed and took part in. As the governess watched over the children she was reminded constantly of their relative, the attractive and mysterious man. She became enriched with the memory of the children's uncle that she conjured him up. It became evident to the reader that the first time the governess saw Peter Quint she was hard at work thinking about the uncle. She thought, "I only asked that he should know; and the only way to be sure he knew would be to see it," (Beidler 37). A man came to her vision but she had to justify it; that was a bad impulse. It must be evil because ghosts were considered evil. Then the governess realized there couldn't be just a male ghost roaming around there had to be a female counterpart that was his equal so that she and her sexuality would be safe. When Miss Jessel was introduced into the novella the governess managed to balance both sides of the equation and kept her understanding of the relationships and sexuality intact.

The children are another relationship that the governess became infatuated with. It's weird to sexualize the two of them the way she does but she must externalize her sexuality. The children are related to the uncle and her attraction to the uncle played the culprit also. The children resembled the uncle and that would explain why she was fascinated with their physical features. She said, "And the little boy does he look like her? Is he too so very remarkable?"(Beidler 30). Another relationship that the governess saw was the mother-father one. If she was acting as the mother then the uncle had to act as the father, which set them up romantically. The uncle was absent and because of his absence the governess created her own troubled world in which she had to continue to overcome her terrible obstacles to prove her love. The ghosts were her main trail and in her mind if she could defeat the utterly sexual pair then that would save the mother-father, and the sister-brother relationships and she believed that was normal.



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