Turn of the Screw Archetype Analysis

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Ali Harwood Mrs. Wilcox IB English I 30 July 2014 The Turn of the Screw Analysis The novella, The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, has many possible ways for how to interpret the meaning of his story. The archetype, the journey, can be used to describe the governess’s complicated search for the truth of Miles’ expulsion and what the children are plotting with the ghosts. This eventually sends her into a psychological hell as she only cares about finding out the past rather than realizing the outcome. In the story, the governess is focused on finding out the truth about a lot of secrets. She descends into a psychological hell from being too caught up in discovering the answers. After many tribulations, she reaches her lowest level by feeling she has won when she realizes the truth about Miles expulsion. However, she really lost, since she failed her first job in taking care of the children, since Miles dies and Flora turns gravely ill. “I felt a sick swim at the drop of my victory and all the return of my battle, so that the wildness of my veritable leap only served as a great betrayal” (James; ch. 24, par. 44). The governess is so focused on the past and trying to find out answers that she forgets the real reason why she is at Bly: to be a good caretaker to the kids. This causes the downfall of not her, but the children. The children’s downfall represents the outcome of letting one thing control her life, making her blind to everything going on around her. In the end, it wasn’t the governess who suffered. The people who suffered were the ones she accused of being “bad” (James; ch. 11, par. 7), when she was the bad one all

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