The Missing Screw Essay

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The Turn of the Screw by Henry James can be interpreted in two main ways; as a psychological thriller or a ghost story. In the book, the central character and one of the narrators, the governess, has convinced herself that the children, Miles and Flora, are seeing apparitions. Another explanation is that she herself created these images through her madness. The governess desires so much to be loved that she drives herself insane. The author also does a good job of convincing the reader that the ghosts of Miss Jessel and Peter Quint are “real.” Yet, I believe differently. There are many clues that allude to the fact that the governess is having a psychological break down do to the fact that she is lonely and yearns to be loved. I will …show more content…
As you continue to read she then says, “And with a shock much greater than any vision had allowed for was the sense that my imagination had, in a flash, turned real. He did stand there” (39). This man, in fact was the ghost of Peter Quint. This image of man was created in the governess’ mind. She even states it herself when she senses that her imagination in fact had become real. In this part of the book, Henry James tells us that the image was produced in the governess’ mind, but we are in shock and are convinced that it was an actual ghost. The governess desires to be loved, but she is still not full filled. She then becomes attracted to, “her little gentleman” (33).
     The governess’ little gentleman is Miles; the young boy that she is in charge of watching. Through out the book the governess has little pet names for Miles. It becomes blatantly obvious that the ghosts are created in the governess’ mind at the end of the novel when Peter Quint appears in the window for the last time while the governess holds Miles close at her side. The governess begins to scare Miles by referring to the ghosts and their appearance before them. Miles of course does not see the ghosts, but out of fear asks the governess if they are there. The governess replies to Miles and says that, “It is he!” (120). There is also a foot note at the bottom

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