Why The Ghosts Exposed In The Turn Of The Screw

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Henry James himself, described The Turn of the Screw (1898) as ‘an amusette to catch those not easily caught’ , suggesting that the excitement of reading is not found in being given a solution, but through creating your own. It is believed that James deliberately left his novella ambiguous by leaving the existence of the ghosts unresolved, as well as many other aspects, allowing the reader to make up their own mind. There are two obvious solutions to the unresolved issues in The Turn of The Screw, in R.P Blackmur’s words, ‘either the ghosts are real or they are hallucinations’ of the governess. Arguably, both children engage in suspicious behaviour, such as when the governess expresses her desire to help Miles, only to be answered with ‘a gust of frozen air’ and Miles’ ‘loud, high shriek’ . Miles’ screams of terror seem odd and dubious once he confesses to being the one who blew out the candle - ‘ “It was I who blew it, dear!” ’ . Similarly, Flora positions the curtains in her room to give the impression that she is still there, ‘the white curtains had been deceivingly pulled forward’ . Although her explanation of searching for the governess appears innocent, it does not explain why she went to such lengths to disguise her…show more content…
According to Harold C. Goddard: ‘Mrs Grose is still far from convinced’ of the existence of ghosts. Despite both Flora and Mrs Grose being present at the pond, it is only the governess who sees the ghost, leading Mrs Grose to claim that ‘“she [Miss Jessel] isn’t there … and you [the governess] never see nothing”’. Despite being of a lower class than the governess, Mrs Grose’s tone creates a sense of authority and finality, whilst her demeaning attitude reaffirms her belief that the ghosts are a hallucination. The governess is so desperate to be believed that she uses any possible instance as

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