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Explain how insights from two theoretical perspectives can be used to explore the significance of ‘gaps’, ‘silences’ and ‘absences’ in The Turn of the Screw - Essay Example

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Beginning with the introduction to The Turn Of The Screw, Henry James creates an atmosphere of confusion in which the truth is difficult to distinguish from fantasy. The structure of the novella itself, with a story inside a story-a man reading a tale around a fireplace during…
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Explain how insights from two theoretical perspectives can be used to explore the significance of ‘gaps’, ‘silences’ and ‘absences’ in The Turn of the Screw
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Download file to see previous pages Eventually, her visions also lead to the tragic end of the novella.
The strange images which appear before the governess, along with her generally distracted nature, lend themselves to two different literary interpretations, Marxist and Feminist. Her own attraction to the wealth of the family which has hired her, with the potential of advancing her own financial situation, is an obsession which seems to have led to many of her visions. Her companion in taking care of the children, the illiterate Mrs. Grose, tells the governess that the person the governess “sees” around the grounds must be the former valet Peter Quint, since he was known to wear the clothes of the head of the house. But since the governess had never known him, no one else can now see him, and he had died, the most plausible explanation is that the governess’ vision is that of the head of the house. Before leaving for his country estate, she had met him in London on Halsey Street. She is described in the introduction as being impressed by him as “a gentleman, a bachelor in the prime of life...He struck her, inevitably, as gallant and splendid. She conceived him as rich, but as fearfully extravagant--saw him all in a glow of high fashion, of good looks, of expensive habits, of charming ways with women.” This quote from the Introduction is a pattern repeated throughout the story, as the governess fills in the gaps of the facts she doesn’t have with her own, mostly pleasant fantasies, at least of this gentleman who hired her.
Her impressions of this man fit well into the Marxist theory of literary analysis, in which economic and social conditions are thought to override all concerns. Her obsession with the great advancement given to her by her new position becomes quite clear in Chapter III, in which her new feeling of possession would quickly be ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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