The Evolution Of Governess In The Turn Of The Screw By Henry James

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A position of governess in supreme authority under a flirtatiously sly headmaster yields excessive amounts of stress on the fragile human mind that can cause loss of reality and unintended violent behavior. The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, follows the evolution of the Governess’ declining mental state as she suffers from a savior complex and brief delusional disorder due to a sudden drastic change in lifestyle and loss of innocence. The downward spiral of the Governess’ mental state stems from her youthful vulnerability and unnatural leap into motherhood. At the young age of twenty years old the Governess transforms from a religious student at a Hampshire vicarage to an employee to a man filthy with sin, such as pride, lust, and greed. These aspects of the Uncle spark the inception of the threat of lost innocence. A man with his charming and seductive…show more content…
Symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, odd behavior and disorganized thoughts characterize this specific psychotic disorder. Sudden bouts of stress, for example a new demanding occupation, can induce visual hallucinations, which are a, “primary diagnostic criterion for several psychotic disorders,”(Current Psychiatry). For the Governess, her loss of innocence and abrupt entrance into adulthood serve as a stressor that triggers a brief delusional state. Oftentimes, “visual hallucinations… tend to involve vivid scenes with family members and religious figures” (Current Psychiatry) or in this case, deceased coworkers and sacrilegious figures. The Governess’ shows signs of delusions through her unshakable belief in the ghosts that are not real but represent real people. This delusional disorder becomes dangerous because the Governess preoccupies herself with the ghosts so much so that it harms her life and ability to do her job. In a fit of passion to uphold her savior complex and finally defeat her delusions, the Governess kills

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