Turn Of The Screw Essay Prompt

+ All James The Turn Of The Screw Essays:

  • The Story of James Rhio O'Connor
  • Comparison between Nella Larsen's 'Passing' and James Mcbride's 'The Color of Water'
  • James Franco, Renaissance Man
  • When Regulatory Strategies Turn Maladaptive: An Analysis
  • Michael Jordan vs. Lebron James
  • Eveline by James Joyce
  • Narrative Style and Structure of James and the Giant Peach
  • Unmanageable Divisions: The Result of Bismarckian Politics in Turn of the Century Germany
  • Frances E. W. Harper and James Whitfield
  • Exemplifictions of Realism in Henry James' Daisy Miller: A Study
  • James Joyce's Araby - Loss of Innocence in Araby
  • James. Son of Zebedee
  • Tone and Word Choice in A Glass of Beer by James Stephen
  • James Joyce's The Dead
  • Comparing James Joyce's Araby and Ernest Hemingway's A Clean, Well-Lighted Place
  • The Presidency of James Madison
  • The Modern Relevance of Themes in James Joyce's Eveline
  • Character Analysis of Winterborne in Henry James' 'Daisy Miller'
  • Siblings' Relationship in James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues
  • Europe on the Brink of Change at the Turn of the 20th Century
  • A Blessing James Wright
  • A Pioneer of Expressionism, James Ensor
  • The Power of Araby by James Joyce
  • The Chapter of Circe in James Joyce's Ulysses
  • James Baldwin'S "Sonny's Blues"
  • Whose Turn Is It to Polish Apple
  • Lebron James and Kobe Bryant
  • How Far Was James Successful in Dealing with the Problems Presented by Puritanism in 1611-1625?
  • James Joyce's Dubliners: Two Gallants
  • James Bond, Die Another Day and Johnny English
  • The Failure of James Buchanan
  • James Joyce
  • Eveline by James Joyce
  • Biography of LeBron James
  • Expansionism Under James K. Polk
  • The Reconstruction: A Documentary History of the South after the War by James P. Shenton
  • Suffering and Surviving in James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues
  • Literary and Character Analysis of Ulysses by James Joyce, Specifically Episode 18: Penelope
  • Character Analysis of James Joyce' Eveline
  • James Joyce's Araby - Setting in Araby
  • Araby, by James Joyce
  • Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis and James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues
  • James Joyce's Dubliners - Adolescent Initiation Portrayed in Araby
  • Araby, by James Joyce
  • James Joyce Annotated Bibliography
  • The Theme of Escape in James Joyce’s Dubliners
  • James Baldwin's Go Tell It On the Mountain and Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones
  • James Joyce's Ulysses - Balancing Information in Ithaca
  • Case Study: When Hackers Turn to Blackmail
  • James I and William Shakespeare's Macbeth
  • Biography of James Brown
  • Comparing Faulkner's Light in August and James' Portrait of a Lady
  • Style and Themes of James Joyce
  • Literacy, Discourse, and Linguistics: Introduction by James Paul Gee
  • Captain James Cook
  • James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues
  • Comparing James and Jung's Perspectives on Religious Experience
  • Personal Paralysis in Dubliners by James Joyce
  • The Word of God Does Not to Turn Evil into Good
  • Black Theology & Black Power According to James H. Cone
  • Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen
  • Dr. James Banks on Multicultural Education
  • The Evolution of Music in Black Music in America by James Haskins
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  • James Cameron: Avatar
  • Lost Property by James Maloney
  • Midterm 2 Essays James Pham
  • Analysis of "The Sea"by James Reeves
  • The Power of Music in James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues
  • Twists and Turns of the 1920's
  • The Impact of James Baldwin's Writing on the Civil Rights Movement
  • James Joyce's Eveline and Araby
  • Winter in the Blood by James Welch
  • James Baldwin's Story Sonny's Blues
  • James T. Russell and the Invention of the Compact Disc
  • Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin
  • James Madison

Turn of the Screw (James)

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Discussion Questions
1. In The Turn of the Screw, the misbehavior of the children, Miles and Flora, as the story progresses makes us suspect that they are not as innocent as they seem. And yet the source of their misbehavior is left ambiguous: Is it natural mischievousness or has it been instigated by an evil, corrupting force in the form of the ghosts of Peter Quint and Miss Jessel? Trace through the story the changes in the way the governess views the children and their misbehaviors. How does the uncertainty about the children, and their possible awareness of the ghosts, intensify the governess's predicament?

2. In the beginning chapters of the story, the governess recounts several unsettling events: The children's uncle insists that he not be bothered with anything relating to the children's care; we learn of the death of the governess's predecessor, Miss Jessel; and we learn that sweet and charming Miles has been expelled from school. These are just some of the forebodings that set the stage for the supernatural events that soon follow, and so when the governess first relates the appearance of a ghost it doesn't seem entirely unexpected. To what degree is the governess a force of sense and reason in these unsettling surroundings, and to what degree does she become a destabilizing force herself as the story progresses? How does our answer to this question affect our understanding of the story's ending?

3. Any interpretation of The Turn of the Screw hinges on the question, debated vociferously by critics, of whether the ghosts of Peter Quint and Miss Jessel are real or whether they are figments of the governess's imagination.* What are the implications of the governess's imagining them? If we read this not as an actual ghost story but as a story about the governess's perceptions of ghosts, what sort of psychological underpinnings are suggested? Could it be in these dimensions that the real horror of the story may lie?


* James himself, as recorded in Leon Edel's comprehensive biography, Henry James: A Life (five volumes: 1953-72), said that The Turn of the Screw was a ghost story— the ghosts were to be taken as real, not imagined.

Yet "authorial intent" has been under scrutiny for some years: current criticism rarely gives credence to authors' claims about what they "meant." Memories are faulty and authors draw from a mysterious well of creativity—readers often see things in works that weren't consciously put there by the author. The Turn of the Screw is certainly ambiguous, which opens the path to numerous ways of reading.

Also, a 2009 production I saw of Benjamin Britten's opera of the same name placed the setting in a mental asylum!—a stunning interpretation that called into question whether the events of the story even took place. [LitLovers - Ed.]

(Questions issued by Random House edition.)

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