"A turn of the screw" by Henry James.

Essay by jennabugUniversity, Master's September 2005

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The Governess In The Turn of the Screw by Henry James is Driven to Paranoia and Insanity by her Fear of the Position.

The plausibility of the governess' story in A Turn of the Screw by Henry James really revolves around whether or not the reader believes that ghosts could exist. At first, I believed in the credibility of the governess because of all the strange events that surrounded her arrival at the estate. The governess, although seemingly nervous and unsure of herself, seems to be the only person without a tainted past. She is arriving at a home where the previous governess and a servant have already died. Oddly though, the governess does not seem scared because of these occurrences, rather, she seems obsessed with her job. She wants to protect the children from the negative influences of the ghosts, as she suspects they have been meeting with her charges.

I found this extremely peculiar.. if I was babysitting and saw a ghost I'd be more concerned about that than what the ghosts may have been saying to the kids I've been watching.

Flora's illness indicates the guilt of the governess. Had Flora been communing with her old governess, the new governesses concerns and accusations about her communicating with the dead would not have sent her into a shock or a fever. She is a little girl, she is overwhelmed, and the governess has scared her. Flora does not mention seeing Mrs. Jessel, which is what the governess expects she will do when reiterating the cause of her sickness, again speaking to the guilt of the governess. Flora uses terrible language to insult her new governess, she asks not to see her again. Had the little girl seen the ghost of the old governess, she would certainly be more...