Things are Not What they Seem to Be in Henry James’s The Turn of The Screw

:: 6 Works Cited
Length: 1615 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Hidden subjects, the corruption of innocence, gender, and the destructiveness of heroism, can all be argued to be the main theme of The Turn of The Screw but only one can really bring the truest theme out of the story by Henry James. Many argue that there is no theme, or more than one but I believe that Forbidden subjects is truly the source that really captures what the story is all about. We can easily come to this conclusion by looking at the items in the story and piecing them together. For example, the young male child named Miles suddenly gets kicked out of school, but the reason for the expulsion is never uncovered. As the story continues, there are more questions and mysteries that never become revealed, which I believe is the entire purpose as to why James wrote this; to simply leave us puzzled as a crossword. Yes, the other themes are well organized and presentable, but they are not the underlying theme that James is trying to convey. James skillfully incites the reader’s anxieties by arousing the psychological mechanisms of the horror of the unknown. Without the forbidden objects in the story, it would just be another ghost tale with no mystery. That is why I firmly believe that hidden objects and solving mysteries are the main and most important theme to Henry James’s “The Turn of The Screw”.
Many critics have backed up the forbidden objects theme, but have also declined the opinion of it being the main theme in the story. Some say the story has multiple or no themes at all but how can that be when writers have the purpose of their story already planned out in their head before it is ever published or on shelves. Writers like Henry James put items and questions into their work for a reason, and us being the reade...

... middle of paper ...


Works Cited

"Turn of the Screw--Character Analysis." THE CHARACTERS in Turn of the Screw. n. page. Print.

Chandler, Otis. "The Turn of the Screw Quotes." Goodreads Inc. (2013): n. page. Print.

Davis, Marion. "Literary Analysis: Turn of the Screw." StudentPulse. VOL. 1.NO.11 (2009): n. page. Print.

James, Henry. "The Turn of the Screw by Henry James." Project Gutenberg EBook of The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James. (2008): n. page. Print. .

Joseph, Mary. "The Turn of the Screw: Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism (review)." Project Muse . Volume 18.Number 1 (1997): n. page. Print.

Lundquist, Molly. "The Turn of the Screw." LitLovers. (2011): n. page. Print.

Smith, Nicole. "Critical Analysis of “Turn of the Screw” by Henry James with Literary Crticism in Context." Articlemyriad. (2011): 1-4. Print.

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
Henry James's "The Turn of the Screw": Are The Ghosts Actually Real? Essay - Through out the short novella, 'The Turn of the Screw,' by Henry James, the governess continually has encounters with apparitions that seem to only appear to her. As Miles' behavior in school worsens so that he is prevented from returning, and as Flora becomes ill with a fever, the governess blames these ghosts for corrupting the children, Miles and Flora, and labels them as evil and manipulative forces in their lives. But why is it that these ghosts only seem to appear to the governess even when the children are present at the time of the sightings by the governess....   [tags: Turn of the Screw, Henry James] 956 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James Essays - The Turn of the Screw This novel was, surprisingly, interesting. The intensely complex and intricate (if not confusing!) sentences, upon first thought, made me expect an experience of complete, utter, and total confusion; however, they served not only to keep my interest in the novel – for I had to concentrate to grasp the full, rich meaning of his thoughts – but also to create in me a sense of enjoyment, that of being enriched with the experiences of the main character so that my life and that character's became inseparable, only it occurred not only with the main character, but with the entire plot at once – all characters, all scenes (to which I shall come late), all conversations......   [tags: The Turn of the Screw Henry James] 717 words
(2 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Henry James' The Turn of the Screw Essay - Henry James' The Turn of the Screw Peter G. Beidler informs us that there have been “hundreds” of analyses of Henry James’ spine-tingling novella, The Turn of the Screw (189). Norman Macleod suggests that James himself seems to be “an author intent on establishing a text that cannot be interpreted in a definite way” (Qtd in Beidler 198). Yet, the vast majority of analyses of The Turn of the Screw seem to revolve around two sub-themes: the reality of the ghosts and the death of Miles both of which are used to answer the question of the governess’s mental stability: is she a hero or a deranged lunatic....   [tags: Henry James Turn Screw Essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
1589 words
(4.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Narrative Frames and Ambiguity in Henry James' The Turn of The Screw Essay - Narrative "frames" and Ambiguity in The Turn of The Screw            Since it was written, Henry James' The Turn of The Screw has been acclaimed by numerous critics to be one of the most immaculate, engrossing and terrifying ghost stories ever produced. Harriet Waters Preston described it as, "a sheer mortal horror, like the evil dream of a man under the spell of a deadly drug"1, and Gertrude Atherton said, "[it] is the most horrifying ghost story ever written!"2 I will argue that it is the narrative frames enclosing The Turn of The Screw that are largely responsible for the reception the book has received....   [tags: Henry James Turn of the Screw]
:: 6 Works Cited
2219 words
(6.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on The Governess's Desire in Henry James's The Turn of the Screw - The Governess's Desire in Henry James's The Turn of the Screw Henry James's The Turn of the Screw paints a landscape that is ripe for psychoanalytic analysis. He has chosen language and syntax that symbolize his main character's psychological fragmentation and her futile attempt to mend herself. Many of Lacan's theories emerge as the Governess reveals her motivations through her recollective narrative. The Governess enters the Imaginary Stage of Lacan's psychoanalysis theory when she sees herself in the mirror on her first night at Bly....   [tags: James Turn of the Screw Essays] 574 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on The Freudian Id in The Turn of the Screw - Henry James was one of America's most brilliant and fascinating writers. He uses language to tap into the reader's subconscious and always has them wanting more. This sensation is no more prevalent than in his thriller The Turn of the Screw. In this intense psychological thriller, the main character releases her own sexual frustration into the illusions of two ghosts that haunt a quiet country manor. The Freudian Id plays out in the fantasies of Peter Quint and Mrs. Jessel and the governess's own repressed feelings overrun her every thought....   [tags: The Turn of the Screw Henry James]
:: 1 Works Cited
1676 words
(4.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
A Nineteenth Century Ghost Story in The Turn of The Screw by Henry James - A Nineteenth Century Ghost Story in The Turn of The Screw by Henry James The Turn of The Screw is a classic Gothic ghost novella with a wicket twist set in a grand old house at Bly. The story is ambiguous; we never fully know whether the apparitions exist or not and we are left with many more questions than answers. The Governess is left in charge of two young children, Miles and Flora, of whom she later becomes obsessed with, describing them as 'angelic'. She has no contact with her employer from London, the children's enigmatic uncle once there, sparking suspicions of the children being unwanted....   [tags: Henry James Papers Gothic] 5505 words
(15.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Narration in The Turn of the Screw Essay - Narration in The Turn of the Screw Henry James makes the governess the narrator because she keeps the readers’ interest by also being involved in the story as a main character. However, being involved on this personal level, it can make the governess exaggerate at times and be over-emotional. Her determined and curious nature makes her an ideal candidate to explore the mysterious happenings, however her imagination keeps the reader in suspense, as we are never sure how much she has exaggerated the story....   [tags: The Turn of the Screw Henry James Essays] 1616 words
(4.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Protecting Miles and Flora in The Turn of the Screw Essay - Protecting Miles and Flora in The Turn of the Screw “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....   [tags: Henry James The Turn of the Screw Essays] 2235 words
(6.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
A Young Woman's Fantasy in The Turn of the Screw Essay - A Young Woman's Fantasy in The Turn of the Screw     The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, is an odd story about a young woman who, leaving her small country home for the first time, takes a job as a governess in a wealthy household.  Shortly after her arrival, she begins to suffer from insomnia and fancies that she sees ghosts roaming about the grounds.  James is a master story-teller and, at times, the complexities of the story make it difficult to follow.  The Turn of the Screw is a story within a story, the tale of the governess being read aloud as a ghost story among friends.  Harold C....   [tags: Henry James Turn Screw Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1440 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]