The governess see’s it as her duty to protect Miles and Flora. What do the children need protection from and how does Henry James illustrate this in his novella ‘The Turn Of The Screw’? Henry James is a widely recognised author who has written many great pieces of work and one of his most widely recognised novellas is the gothic mind-boggler ‘The Turn Of The Screw’. ‘The Turn Of The Screw’ is a gripping story revolving around two “innocent” little children who from “honest and lovely” little children, turn into full blown fragrant liars. Henry James novella describes the hypocrisy, which revolves around them.Order now
At the beginning of the novella you can see the governess as a pleasant and well-mannered young lady but when you delve further into the novella you begin to question her mentality, has she lost her mind? Or does the author lead us to believe this. You may also enquire about the symbolic nature of the novella. Some may say that this novella is symbolising the loss of innocence, perhaps by evil, and the connection with the adult word. What about the governess? She does seem to have a sense of innocence and it seems that she is vulnerable.
The governess has no experience. Does the governess need protection? The novella could also be illustrating the Victorian society â€“ the Status of the characters in the novella, the power each individual has in the novella. This is all criticized in the novella. The novella also exposes the fact that there is no system for orphaned children, if this were today’s time and age, there would be the NSPCC to help protect the children. The novella also shows the lack of care and love shown by the children’s uncle, he doesn’t have anything to do with them, he neglects them.
There are several layers of meaning to this novella. A simple meaning for this novella could be the fact that it is a plain and simple ghost story. The literary traditions of this novella are from the Gothic era. The novella is based on Gothic literature. The novella was written after the Gothic period and you realise this by doing some research. After reading the novella a few times you realise that this novella distances the characters and the time of the novella from the person reading it. Another key point is the fact that ghosts were a big deal at the time the novella was written.
This novella also starts off with someone telling some people a ghost story so you can notice that most Gothic novellas may also be like this. All in all I can comment that this novella is heavily influenced by Gothic literature and Gothic traditions and that this story was written in a Gothic style. The language and the structure of this novella illustrate ambiguity and create fear and tension in many ways. The first main convention used by Henry James to create a feeling of suspense is when he builds up an atmosphere when something is going to happen. You notice in the novella that Mrs.
Grose looks very frightened. This makes you wonder, what is she scared of? Is she scared of the governess or the ghosts? This brings us back to the point of what the children need protecting from. If Mrs. Grose, a fully-grown woman is getting scared then you cant help but feel that the children must be petrified. Also the fact that only the governess can see the “ghosts” poses a striking question to the mind. Could the fact that only the governess can see the ghost be so that she provides a cover for the own fear she has created for the children and Mrs.
Grose? This point really stirs the mind to think because you cannot help but think that the governess really is evil and the children do need protection from her. The narrative structure of the novella is only the governess’s point of view. Why is this so? Could this be because the author only wants us to see the story from the governess’s point of view? You cannot help but notice that every time something tense is going to happen, Henry James builds up a certain atmosphere that lets you know that something strange is going to happen.
The mental images that come into your mind are those of horror. The metaphors and similes in the novella are all built in a certain structure to illustrate the story. Peter Quint is illustrated as a tower; this is a frightening description and builds a sense of fear. The novella could also symbolise the sexual desires of the governess. When the governess first sets eyes on Peter Quint she is very attracted to him and this is visible. Could the governess be using the children to get closer to Peter Quint to fulfil her sexual desires?
The novella describes Peter Quint as a tower who has big red hair. The vocabulary used in the novella is very advanced and quite intellectual. In my conclusion I found that the novella was full of twists and dark secrets. The novella kept me guessing till the end and really made me think. The novella reaches to the back of the mind to find out the answers to the questions that need answering. For example, who did the children really need protecting from? Were there really ghosts visible? Was the governess making it up? Or was the governess hallucinating?
I believe that the governess was overcome by her state of mind. She had been given power and she was trying to use her power to get to what she wanted. I do think that the children needed protection from the governess because her desires soon drove her to despair and she may have suffered mentality issues. The governess was a very frightening woman who exposed her powers to fulfil her own selfish desires. She did not care who she hurt as long as she got what she wanted. All in the entire novella was a very good read and was full of unexpected twists and turns.