The Turn of the Screw | Literary Analysis and Methods

The turning screw, as a process rather than an image, has three basic movements – turning, pressing, and piercing, all of which feature prominently in the story.

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Turn of the Screw - Part 2 Free Short Essay Example

Although the word "turn" is associated with the governess’ actions more than two-thirds of the time, it is also associated with every character and almost every event at some point in the narrative. The house itself has two towers, turning corridors and garden paths, and the "great turn of the staircase." Mrs. Grose is full of "the quick turns of simple folk," in contrast to the deliberate turns of the governess. Quint died because of "the icy slope, the turn mistaken at night and in liquor." Flora, under Miss Jessel’s influence, "turned her back to the water" and performs the central symbolic act of screwing:

The Turn Of The Screw Essay Examples | Kibin

Although the repetitive use of this term may be simply a Jamesian mannerism, after the first "revolution" occurs a strange transformation begins to take place, causing the governess to "sharpen all her senses," to "reflect acutely," to activate her intense "scrutiny" ("scrutiny" and "screw" are etymological cognates), and by the end of the story the governess has become almost identical with the screw: "It was a tighter place still than I had yet turned round in."

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Turn Of The Screw Ambiguity Essay - Chinatown Movie Essay

Shoshana Felman’s “Turning the Screw of Interpretation” (1977) argues that arguments as to whether the apparitions are spirits of the dead are hallucinations of a sexually repressed young woman are only a special instance of the intrinsic ambiguity of all literary works and indeed of all texts whatsoever.

Turn of the Screw | Oedipus Complex | The Turn Of The Screw

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Turn of the screw ambiguity essay

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Chapter 4 of ‘The Turn of the Screw’ Essay

The "great turn" of the staircase may be the architectural correlative of the screw, a coital union between the phallic towers and the yonic pool. This staircase is singled out for more than ordinary treatment: it is where the governess encounters Quint for the third time and Miss Jessel for the second time; it is preternaturally long – "I saw Quint turn and go straight down the staircase and into the darkness in which the next bend was lost." The staircase is more often descended than ascended, which parallels the basic movement of the story and the frequently repeated symbolic action of "plunging into the hideous obscure": "there are depths, depths" "depths and possibilities that I lacked resolution to sound," "To gaze into the depths of blue of the child’s eyes," "I must take my plunge," "I again push my way through it to the end," "I have at last reached the heart of it," "depth of depravity," "deep design," "The shock, in truth, had sunk into me still deeper," "deeper depths of consternation … had opened beneath my feet," "a darker obscure … confounding and bottomless."

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Turn of the Screw Ambiguity - WriteWork

Using the screw as an impressionist analogy, we might feel that Mrs. Grose turns somewhere near the top, never penetrating the depths; Quint and Miss Jessel are somewhere near the bottom, trying to "return" from the dead; Miles and Flora are in the middle, drawn in both directions; the governess subsumes the entire length, moving from the top to the bottom because of her "scrutiny."

10/08/2017 · Henry James's The Turn of the Screw: Horror's finest work of Ambiguity

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