The Turn of the Screw Study Guide

The Turn of the Screw Study Guide

Original title:
The Turn of the Screw
Published 1994 by Penguin Books (first published October 1898)
London, England
Essex, England
ISBN 0140620613 (ISBN13: 9780140620610)

Henry James wrote “The Turn of the Screw” in 1898. James is a well-known author of the world’s classic literature. He is a fine psychologist, very attentive and thorough in his observations of life. He masterfully implements these skills in the process of writing gothic stories. “The Turn of the Screw” is a mystical novel about the ghosts, written in the style of subconscious flow of thoughts, that has served as a basis for numerous movies.

Henry James once again proved to be the master of confusion in “The Turn of the Screw”. The story has numerous layers of narration. An unknown man starts the book, he is listening to his friend. His friend is reading him a story, but it is a governess who wrote the actual text.

The governess was employed to take care of two charming kids, Miles and Flora. She soon starts to observe two figures in the house that aren’t noticed by anybody else. Soon it becomes obvious that the house is haunted and it might be that the kids are in danger.

Throughout the book it seems that there’s an easy solution: the governess should be cared for at the mental facility. But what about the children? They clearly seem to live in a parallel reality. They manipulate, change the course of events and play grown-up games. They are definitely more mature than their age and might be plotting something.

The lady decides to save the children from being possessed by the people who used to be close to them at one time. Her actions are random and sometimes even hysteric, she writes important letters that are never sent, talks to people who shouldn’t be involved. The book definitely provokes interest and opens a vast field for interpretations.

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