Turn of the Screw Notes Essay

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TURN OF THE SCREW REVISION —"the strange and sinister embroidered on the very type of the normal and easy," Henry James Quote Genre: * Writing on the cusp of modernism – can be seen as a modernist novel – contemporary ghost story * Gothic fiction: * 18th/19th Century * Isolated setting, luxury and empty space, innocents endangered by the supernatural, young woman without male support, shady deaths and rumours of sexual indecency - all points to Gothic tradition Themes: * Innocence * Don’t ever notice the ghosts (flora and Miles) * Quote: Miles made the whole charge absurd. My conclusion bloomed there with the real rose-flush of his innocence: he was only too fine and fair for the little horrid unclean school-world, and he had paid a price for it. * angelic appearance wins over the Governess * Swayed into thinking that the school must have been wrong in sending him away. * fully she's entranced by Miles's beauty and his aura of purity * Miles in control by appearances – G easily swayed (uncle?) * Good vs. Evil * “She saw me as I had seen my own visitant; she pulled up short as I had done; I gave her something of the shock that I had received” Mrs Grose sees G outside window where Q was * Role reversal * Good standing where bad had previously stood * Implies the Governess has horrifying qualities of her own which she’s not aware of * Good and evil are subjective – Governess naive * Repression * “he held her hand, thanking her for the sacrifice, she already felt rewarded” * Start of book – already repressive feelings towards uncle * Passionate from start * Shows personality – carried away easily by little things – such as the touch of a man * Naive – never had male approval (including fathers) *

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