View Full Version : essay question help

05-10-2010, 10:45 PM
Hey everyone, just needing a jump start with this essay question, could you help? Discuss the relationships between the narrators of The Turn of the Screw. What purpose is served by the complicated way in which the story is told?
i know that the governess is the primary narrator and the 2nd is an implied author (unkown author) but how do they have a relationship?:shocked:

07-10-2010, 09:21 PM
If I remember correctly, the introducer of the story DID know the governess, though not positive in what way...he does indicate in the beginning of the novel that he believes her to be a truthful and trustworthy person, which I took to mean that we, the readers or hearers of the story, should believe in what she says. We then hear the story from the governess's point of view, many years later I think. I didn't find the narration that complicated, seems that James started the story with a group of friends, sitting around the fire, telling each other spooky tales. The narrator has the details of the governess's story in a letter that she wrote many years after her time at Bly.

James himself identified The Turn of the Screw as a ghost story, that he had always wanted to write a good one, and that that is what it is, a ghost story is what he intended for it to be. All the stuff about sexual repression and hidden meanings came from later interpretations, all that Freudian nonsense. I, for one, am great lover of ghost stories, and am happy that it is a ghost story. A pretty darn good one too!