Social Implications In The Turn Of The Screw

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In Henry James’ novel The Turn of The Screw, he creates bizarre events that involve ghosts and tricks. The story consists of a governess who is hired to take care of two children who belong to a man that plays their Uncle in the novel. The one instruction that he leaves the governess with is that she should never bother him if something were to ever happen to the children, but that she should take care of the problem herself. She doesn’t question this request and takes care of the children willingly. One thing that could be seen though in a novel like this is the societal implications. It’s no longer a story only about sightseeing ghosts, but rather the social implications and characterizations of class. Marx and Engles (both the founders of…show more content…
James wrote this preface to set up the social classes presented in the story. Robbins agrees with this. The narrator, Douglas, in fact exactly does this. Knowing the setting that the reader is given, it is easily seen that the group of people are part of a high social class just by the way they talk and act. Knowing what class the story tellers are, it foreshadows that the novel discusses social implications. When it’s time to tell the story, Douglas sets the tone by saying there’s a “cook, a housemaid, a dairy woman, an old pony, an old groom and an old gardener, all likewise thoroughly respectable” (James 28). These are the positions that are within the Bly estate. Each position represents a social superstructure. Each position listed is the workers for the Uncle, who’s in a higher position than his workers. In this instance, these positions are supporting the superstructure by serving the needs to keep up the Uncle’s house. Each person is assigned separate chores, keeping the house running smoothly. Each position of class works like a well-oiled machine; the Uncle, who is higher in the superstructure, gives the orders to the lower class, which are the “cook, a housemaid, a dairy woman, an old pony, an old groom and an old gardener” (James 28). With the instructions they are given from the higher up, they run the place smoothly. Describing them as “thoroughly respectable” (James 28) indicates that they are all viewed the same regarding social class, and that they are expected to be good, proper, and

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