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It seems that any critic who wishes to do so may find compelling textual evidence that the work is a chilling, straightforward ghost story made all the more horrific by the youthful age of its menaced characters; or that it is a case study of a psychologically disturbed young woman in the grip of a sexually induced hallucinatory neurosis; or that it is an engrossing, powerful moral fable that allegorizes the intertwining of innocence and evil in the human heart; or that it is some combination of all these, despite the fact that the various interpretations are at odds with one another.
For example, the governess herself is curiously obsessed with her employer, a handsome young man who does not appear to reciprocate the infatuation. The first appearances of the two evil ghosts, Mr. Quint and Miss Jessel, occur on a tower and beside a lake, respectively, locations that could signify male and female sexuality.
Along this line, The Turn of the Screw may also be interpreted as a subtle but powerful moral allegory, in which Bly becomes a type of the garden of Eden: Evil has entered this Eden with the express purpose of entrapping the souls of Miles and Flora, the archetypal male and female innocents.
The modern reader must first consider the novella as a work of immense artistic skill designed to produce horror.
Regardless of whether this horror originates in the supernatural or the psychological realm is of little account in assessing its final effect. This remains true even though readers may not be able to make a final and definitive critical pronouncement regarding its interpretation.A novella written by Henry James, 'The Turn of the Screw' is a ghost story or is it?
This lesson will summarize the plot of 'The Turn . In “The Turn of the Screw,” Henry James presents to the reader a story that seems as factual as the recorded ghost sightings that were a major influence for this novel.
However, upon further investigation, the reader may begin to wonder. James probably took his knowledge about ghosts, his sister's condition and the invitation from Collier's Weekly and wrapped them into one wonderful story that we may never stop discussing.
Works Cited. Cargill, Oscar. "The Turn of the Screw and Alice James." The Turn of the Screw: Henry James. New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc., “The Turn of the Screw” provides an unrivalled opportunity to read in a bifurcated fashion, to operate paragraph by paragraph on two levels.
. The Turn of the Screw is a novella, which means that it is long story, shorter than a traditional novel but focusing on actions of greater scope than the short story. In James's publication of The Turn of the Screw, he made a very few emendations to his text - most .
James has not included The Turn of the Screw in the volume with other ghost stories but in another volume between The Aspern Papers and The Liar--this last the story of a pathological liar whose wife protects his big lies against the world, behaving with the same sort of deceptive `authority' as the governess in The Turn of the Screw" ().