• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The governess sees it as her duty to protect Miles and Flora. What do they need protection from and how does Henry James illustrate this in his novel "The Turn of the Screw"?

Extracts from this document...


"I saw my service so strongly and simply. I was there to protect and defend the little creatures..." The governess sees it as her duty to protect Miles and Flora. What do they need protection from and how does Henry James illustrate this in his novel "The Turn of the Screw"? Henry James's 'Turn of the Screw' can be interpreted in many different ways. He constructed his novel in order to make allusions to sexual topics, (without stating anything explicitly) madness, ghosts and the Victorian society. In this essay I will be analysing each of the above in order to make a conclusion as to what I think the children need protecting from. As for the ghosts being present or not, this can be argued. A point arguing the ghosts are present is in the introduction of the story. The man telling the story said he knew the governess and he credits the story with being a real ghost tale and the governess as being a real hero. Another point suggesting the ghosts are present is that when the governess "sees" Peter Quint she is able to go back to Mrs Grose with a fairly full description of him, even though she had never actually met him whilst he was alive. ...read more.


also "locked away" in the sense that they had little freedom in such a small village as Bly, within the metaphors of a gothic fiction. Therefore, I think that "The Turn of the Screw" has been written as a gothic fiction because James intended to create fear and tension. Although his novel creates fear and tension, I also think he was relating his novel to the Victorian society. The Victorian society and gothic fiction are linked as they come from the same backgrounds, when discussing sexual topics, fear and tension. So again, henry James used this to his advantage in writing the novel ambiguously. The language used in "The Turn of the Screw" illustrates ambiguity, which creates tension throughout this novel. It was the governess who gave Douglas a manuscript of her experiences. Douglas read the story aloud at the gathering in the introduction. The narrator of the introduction transcribes the story years later. The narrative alone and the introduction are in the first person perspective. The identity if the "I" in the narrative remains ambiguous. It is also debatable whether the ghosts actually exist because the governess is not necessarily a reliable narrator. From the beginning of "The Turn of the Screw", a sense of mystery fills the novels language. ...read more.


She comes across to be sexually repressed and mentally unstable. If the governess saw Peter Quint, I think it slowly turned her insane, or made her get carried away, and end with her believing she saw Miss Jessel. Either way I do not believe there was a ghost of Miss Jessel or Peter Quint. With the governess, I have found that she likes to create things or over imagine, for example, when she sees Miles looking up she instantly is convinced he is not looking at her, but just above her and at a person and that person is Quint. Could the governess be 100% sure that Miles was looking above her and not at her? As I think the governess is mentally unstable, the next step I see her taking is protecting her sexuality and safety. The governess produces an "image" which is the female ghost of Miss Jessel. This allows Peter Quint and Miss Jessel to be sexually involved and the governess protecting herself. This leaves me to say, that the ghosts are a part of the governesses imagination. I think this because I do not find the governess a reliable narrator. If anything the children need protecting from it is from the governess and her unstability. I think this is what brought about her unbalanced behaviour. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. How far does The Turn of the Screw conform to the conventions of the ...

    have a deep emotional impact on them like a screw being forced into a wall. Adding a 'particular touch' to the story are the two children, who give the 'effect of two turns'. This shows the reader that the story will have a deeper impact on them than they originally

  2. Uncertainty is an important element of the Gothic genre, how do the uncertainties of ...

    trials" The detail that even the author doesn't have a firm belief that the 'ghosts' are in fact ghosts highlights the scepticism that surrounds the novel, and intensifies the uncertainty of "The Turn of the Screw". "The Turn of the Screw" is undoubtedly a novel of the gothic genre, and this contributes to the sense of ambiguity of the novel.

  1. Focusing on chapter seven of "The turn of the screw", explain how Henry James ...

    This creates tension, which makes the reader more likely to buy the magazines they want to read on. The cliffhanger used in Chapter six creates tension and suspense to find out what is happening in Chapter seven: Then I again shifted my eyes I faced what I had to face.

  2. If only they could talk

    Like "If Only They Could Talk" (1970) , It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet (1972) , Let Sleeping Vets Lie (1973), Vet in Harness (1974), Vets Might Fly (1976) ,Vet in a Spin (1977), James Herriot's Yorkshire (1979), The Lord God Made Them All (1981), Every Living Thing (1992), James

  1. arctic story

    The lunch was not good it tasted like paper because it was special nutritious food to keep you healthy. I don't know about nutritious the only thing that I thought it was, was bad. I started making a joke about it.

  2. the perfect lie

    Tomorrow is a big day for me, for all of us, the post-mortem. I will finally find out the proper details of the death. I still can't believe it their gone, they are actually gone, they are out of this world!

  1. The Portrait of a Lady. Discuss James representations of 'places' for women in this ...

    dichotomy which modifies Newman's existence as an individual vulnerable to the response of the social world he encounters. Within America itself, a division was seen to exist as Jefferson (1960, P.39) points between men 'doing' and making money, and women 'representing' culture and thus the cultural products of money, functioning both as consumers and as products.

  2. Examine how Ackroyd presents ideas of originality in the novel 'Chatterton'.

    "more psychologically developed character", and Andrew Flint, a novelist and biographer of Meredith are all important in their own way, and contribute to the outcome of the novel immensely. It is obvious that Ackroyd wants these three timelines to interact and generate meaning by reiteration beneath a surface difference.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work