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An Unrequited Love in The Turn of the Screw by Hen

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An Unrequited Love in The Turn of the Screw by Henry James In "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James, the main character, the governess, is so deluded and lonely that she will do anything necessary to reduce these horrifying feelings and not feel them. She decides that the way to do that is to possibly find love and instead she seems to have found a strange infatuation with her employer. But, sadly because she is located in a country house in Essex, such a longing is not possible to define. When the governess realizes this, she seems to apparently replace her unreciprocated feelings in the shape of ghostly spirits. It possibly is her way of "getting out." Without fully realizing this, the governess has chosen to be an unreliable narrator. Seeing the ghostly spirits which make appearances in this invisible relationship, allows her to feel as though she, herself was a part of an invisible relationship. But in all actuality, there is no relationship because the employer seems to keep ignoring her. When the governess becomes tired of these ghosts, she turns to other characters to fulfill her "goals." ...read more.


At this point in the book, it portrays the governess to have an inability to deal with her emotions maturely. Instead, she longs and strives for a love that she has been dreaming about ever since she arrived at Bly. These romantic thoughts have made her imagine she's seeing Peter Quint. The imagination of the governess shows her Quint as a ghost because unintentionally, she knows it's unreal and therefore impossible to achieve. After seeing what she believed was Quint, another strange ghostly figure appears and it seems to be Mrs. Jessel. These sightings are leading us to believe that the ghosts are expressions of her thoughts and mind. Somehow, she sees the ghost in her own imagination and is then able to transfer the image to visual reality. For her to be able to have a relationship with Quint, she must transfer the image to reality again in her dream and allow her mind to take over and invent a 'Miss Jessel'. The governess believes Peter Quint and Miss Jessel had "everything between them" (p. 32) according to Mrs. Grose. This supports the romantic relationship the governess envisions Quint to be involved in. ...read more.


She wants to find love in the 3 male characters: the uncle, Peter Quint, and even Miles towards the end of the novel. She starts with having an attraction of the uncle and then she moves towards Peter Quint which she then becomes obsessed with and starts seeing his ghost. Finally, at the end of the novel she begins to look to Miles for a sense of belonging. It may even seem as if she wants to find love so badly that she smothers him to the point of death and kills him. He also may have died because she frightened him to death. In the last few scenes, the governess seems to frighten the boy so badly, they he starts sweating and breathing hard and she even starts to shake him. She longs for love so terribly that she believes Miles is Peter Quint. Finally, the governess has a "victory" at the end of the novel and she finally is able to control and manage everything she wanted to know before. The governess and her unreliable narrator poses far too many questions for answers but all the clues point to her infatuation being so strong in Bly, that she needs to have a feeling of belonging. ...read more.

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