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The Turn of the Screw - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Tutor: Date: A Critical Assessment of “Fictional Reality is Nothing but as We Imagine it” in terms of James’s “The Turn of the Screw” Henry James’s novel, “The Turn of the Screw”, poses a serious question: what is reality in the independent world of literature?…
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The Turn of the Screw
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Download file to see previous pages Whereas a conventional fiction-writer endeavors to establish the credibility of the reality which s/he depicts in his fiction, James intentionally attempts to stir up the readers’ doubt about the credibility of the narrator’s presentation of the uncanny monstrosity of the children’s and the monstrous environment in the House. In the novel, James has employed various narrative strategies to support his assertion that nothing truly exists outside the human imagination or takes precedence over the human imagination, using the characters to defend and analyze this position. His first strategy is to instill the uncanny monstrosity in the characters of the novel. The novel does not directly tell the readers whether the Children are really monstrous or not. Rather it inspires the readers to decide whether they are monstrous. Another strategy of James is that he makes the Governess’s character unreliable. The way how the Governess tells the story necessarily provokes the readers to think that there must be a number of different possible interpretations of the reality which she presents. In the novel, James has made a shrewd application of the uncanny to justify his comment that the fictional reality is what and how we perceive it. ...
Even sometimes she herself proves to be wrong and seems that she suffers from hallucination. This uncertainty of the Governess’s storytelling provokes the readers to question whether the children are really monstrous or this monstrosity is a misperception or fabrication of the Governess. Both any possible conclusion what a reader may reach is that the horizon of a fiction is, indeed, a vast area where the writers enjoy the utmost freedom to arrange the events in a particular sequence to make the plot credible. While reading the novel, the readers’ attentions become focused on two focal points. First, they grow doubtful about whether the children, Miles and Flora, are really monstrous or not. Secondly, they question whether there is something wrong on the Governess’s part. Indeed, James’s success to divide up the readers’ attentions on two apparently contradictory focal points tends to establish his claim that, whatever the reality about the children is, the ultimate reality is how we perceive it. For example, a reader can tell for sure whether Miles and Flora maintain a secret relationship with Quint, the dead valet and Miss Jessel who is also dead now. Flora’s nocturnal movement and the discovery of her ‘too free’ intimacy with Miss Jessel, Miles’s association with the ghosts, his unexplained banishment from the school –all these events seem so supernatural and ominous. The Governess claims that she could see some ghostly associations of Miles and Flora with the dead valet and governess. Even she claims that she has encountered with their ghosts for several times. But this claim makes the readers dubious about her psychological sanity, when they once ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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