The Turn Of The Screw By Henry James Essay

1839 Words Oct 27th, 2016 8 Pages
In Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, the reader is pulled in two directions as he or she must decide for himself or herself if the ghosts are simply projections of the governess’ unconscious or if they are truly haunting both Miles and Flora. These two differing viewpoints are a direct result of James’ use of ambiguity of the text. James’ story then changes from a simple ghost story about a governess, two ghosts, and two children to a story filled with ambiguity and questions, which contribute to the overall uneasy, eerie, and uncanny feeling produced. The development of the uncanny through James’ use of ambiguity within the text opens up a new perspective of the text that offers a new, deeper meaning of the text itself as well as the characters within the text. Dolar defines one source of the uncanny as “the point where the real immediately coincides with the symbolic to be put into the service of the imaginary” (15). In other words, the real, imaginary, and symbolic orders all work simultaneously without overlapping. One is able to have an answer to everything he or desires. It is only when language and one’s identity overlap that the imaginary can be perceived as unfamiliar. One begins reading The Turn of the Screw already having a preconceived notion about the existence of ghosts and the supernatural. The symbolic, real, and imaginary orders are all coexisting and working simultaneously without any problems. This creates an overall sense of familiarity. However, the…

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