James Essay

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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 means than the short story. James wrote The Turn of the Screw at a time which belief in ghosts and spirituality was very prevalent in England and America. The spirituality craze had begun in 1848 when two young sisters in New York had heard unexplained “rappings” in their bedroom. Until this day that story is yet to be concluded. The turn of the Screw has inspired a variety of critical interpretations since its publication in 1897. James wrote The Turn of the Screw in 1897, at a low point in his life. In 1895 he suffered a tremendous professional blow when his play Guy Domville was kicked off the London stage. Deeply wounded, James retreated from London. Shortly thereafter, he began writing The Turn of the Screw, one of several works from this period that revolve around large, rambling houses. In The Turn of the Screw, Henry James reflects the theme of good and evil through the governess as she attempts to use the presence of ghosts and their impact on the children in her care. The story takes place on the grounds of Bly, a remote and extensive country estate. The house is old and creepy, and from the very beginning has the feeling of a haunted place. The story focuses on a young, naïve governess who is confronted by a pair of ghosts that she suspects is corrupting the two young children in her charge. The apparitions are those of Peter Quint, a man formally employed in the household, and Miss Jessel, the previous governess. As her suspicions deeper, the new governess confronts each of the children concerning their confrontation with the ghosts. During each confrontation, one of the ghosts appears to the governess, bringing the action to a crisis ( Barnard 198). I feel that the presence of ghosts is true to a certain extent, but

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