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From the comparative study of the film, The Others and the novella, The Turn of the Screw I have learned of the significant purpose and value of Gothic fiction. It is a magnificent genre allowing the representation of the hidden darkness of th

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Introduction

The Editor, The Australian, Sydney Don't Screw the Goths Dear Sir, The genre that you criticised and those texts you illogically denigrated have a high degree of literary and filmic merit. The Gothic genre addresses those dark issues of the human psyche that are usually suppressed or unexamined. It deals with horror, despair, fear etc. but this is reality. Students must learn how to deal with such fundamental truths. Simply cutting out the teaching and learning of the Gothic Genre in highschools to protect students is ridiculous. Henry James' novella, 'The Turn of the Screw' set in the 1840s, and Alejandro Amenabar's film, 'The Others' set in 1945, force us to confront the emotions and ideas that are universal despite the passage of time. Additionally, the Gothic genre is a fantastic learning tool for young responders as it is entertaining and provides an insight into the importance of context in shaping values. The Gothic genre and its complementary elements of terror, mystery and suspense provide us with entertainment, but with the entertainment there are the allegories. ...read more.

Middle

In James' novella there are several unanswered questions or mysteries. How did the parents of the Flora and Miles die? How did the predecessors Peter Quint and Miss Jessel die? What had Miles done to be expelled? How had Miles died? The novella, 'Turn of the Screw' takes its responders from reality into an imaginative world. The film, 'The Others' has the same effect, though it is not everlasting because all mysteries are resolved. As Henry James famously said after exploring the new notions of the subconscious, "So long as the events are veiled, the imagination will run riot and depict all sorts of horrors, but as soon as the veil is lifted, all mystery disappears and with it the sense of terror". This challenges the human psyche and we question and fear, how easily manipulated our emotions are. In both the texts, the supernatural element arises through apparitions, which also raises questions about the condition of the human mind. However, the supernatural element extends further than just questioning our susceptibility. ...read more.

Conclusion

Furthermore, in both the texts we notice it is a woman who is driven "mad" by these spectres. This Gothic convention of a woman in distress is quintessential as it communicates the attitudes towards women. Amenabar's film, teaches us of how men felt that a woman was weak and incapable of being "a mother" during the post World War 2 period, where women were unable to take care of the children and themselves. James' novella, teaches us of the discriminating attitudes towards women during his period of writing, known as the Gothic era, which was a patriarchal age. It is an eye-opener to the exploitation of women. It also reveals men's misogyny and male hegemony through the disempowerment of women. My study of the Gothic genre has been intriguing and insightful. From the comparative study of the film, "The Others" and the novella, "The Turn of the Screw" I have learned of the significant purpose and value of Gothic fiction. It is a magnificent genre allowing the representation of the hidden darkness of the world. The study has been a wonderful experience and with this I strongly advocate the study of Gothic literature in schools. Yours Sincerely ...read more.

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