The Turn Of The Screw Feminist Analysis

2069 Words 8 Pages
Uncovering an accurate example of femininity in literature is difficult, especially when inspecting novels written during previous centuries, authored in predominately patriarchal societies. Historically, Western society has proven exemplary at excluding female voices; leaving literary interpretation from the perspective of feminist theory limited, at least somewhat, to work written by men. Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw affords the opportunity to explore feminist ideals with the interesting, and arguably, rare perspective of a female protagonist. James even gives the main character a voice with the use of first person narration. However, even as a first person narrator, her story is filtered/framed through men, rather than allowing her …show more content…
Meanwhile, Douglas is a past romantic interest of the speaker. Furthermore, even as the story is told by a female, and the setting is a mostly feminine populated country estate the male characters are ever present and oppressive! The Governess’s choices and actions are dictated by her desire to honor her responsibility to the Master. Even little Miles grows increasingly demanding and even bossy. Finally, this is a woman’s account written by a man, so is there even a female voice here at all? How might the story have been different if it had been written by a woman? If we were to imagine what, if any portion of the story would most resemble a woman writing possibly the closest example is the description of the Governess “battling” the male ghost, Quint, and her attempt to protect Miles from being taken by evil, “What does it matter now, my own?- what will he ever matter? I have you,’ I launched at the beast, ‘but he has lost you for ever!” (James 85). Markedly, this battle is ultimately lost because it ends with Miles death. Therefore, even this small victory, this one instance of female power is robbed from the

Related Documents