The Turn Of The Screw — страница 2

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the evil that supposedly resides in Bly. The narrator also says that she will handle Miles, and spends time with him. At the finish of the novel, the narrator sees Peter Quint in a window, and attempts to force Miles to admit that he sees him too. But when poor Miles turns toward where Peter is, he drops dead from the fright caused by the narrator. Poor Miles heart caves in as he experiences a fraction of the narrator?s lunacy. Even the last sentence of the novel displays the narrator?s madness when she says ?…his letter heart, dispossessed, had stopped.?(88) In my opinion, the only thing possessing young Miles? heart was fear and insanity, initiated from the governess. Regarding the criticism and interpretation of this book, of the ones I?ve read, I agree with Leon Edel?s ?The

Point Of View?, which is his take on the novel. He states essentially the same thing I do, being that the narrator is not stable and not to be trusted. I think that he sums it up the best when he says ?The reader must establish for himself the credibility of the witness; he must decide between what the governess supposed and what she claims she saw?( 233). I couldn?t agree with that more, considering that the careful and analytical reader can argue just about any ?ghost? sighting our narrator has had, just based upon the narrator?s description. Also on 233, Edel states ?The governess? imagination, we see, discovers ?depths? within herself. Fantasy seems to be a reality for her.?(233) When Edel says this, he is referring to the fact that the governess schematically worked out this

huge plot in her mind, and thinks that the plan is ominously set up for the children to be taken away by Quint and Jessel. On the other hand, Eric Solomon completely caught me off guard with his interpretation entitled ?The Return of the Screw.? It went a completely different route and put the blame on Mrs. Grose, something I hadn?t even considered. While some interesting aspects were brought to my attention, I don?t believe that this is in the least bit true. To me his interpretation seems like a work of literature in itself, like Solomon is re-defining the entire story. In his frame, Mrs. Grose is the guilty party, and her motive is that she wants young Flora and Miles for herself. Solomon says (on 238) ?Motive? Love and ambition. Mrs. Grose has already risen from maid to

housekeeper- why not to governess? Her obstacle is this young lady…?. While he does present a reasonable argument had some interesting points, I personally believe that this reading is nonsense and that the author possibly has read way too many mystery novels. Edna Kenton?s interpretation is not a very opinionated one, but rather states that there is more to the novel than just your basic ghost story. On page 209, Kenton says this about The Turn of the Screw ?He would have his own private ?fun? in its writing… but he would put about this centre, not only traps set and baited for the least lapse of attention, but lures…? Speaking of the theme of the story, she remarks ?when the reader comes face to face at last with the little governess and realizes that the guarding ghosts

and children are only exquisite dramatizations of her little personal mystery acting out her story in her troubled mind.?(210) This was by far my favorite quote, as it completely describes the truth in the novel. Martina Slaughter offers her summary of Edmund Wilson?s repeated criticism of The Turn of the Screw. Slaughter says that, in agreement with Wilson, Peter Quint was in actuality a character created by the governess? own sexual desires, inspired by her ?crush? on the Uncle of the children. Slaughter is also quick to point out ?sexual references? in the novel. These examples are ?Quint on the tower; Miss Jessel at the lake; Flora?s toy boat, which she created by pushing a stick into a small flat piece of wood.?(212). I think that both Slaughter and Wilson are trying to draw

something that just isn?t there. While their imagination is quite impressive, I think that if you took any novel ever written, you could find twice as many ?sexual references?, which in my opinion are merely coincidence, if that at all. Finally, Mark Spilka essentially agrees with Slaughter and Wilson, referring to Miss Jessel?s hallucinations as ?sexual ghosts?(248). I think that Spilka got way ahead of himself on this one, and once again used the power of imagination, ironically similar to the way Miss Jessel used hers in the novel. I think that this interpretation was unnecessary, and while it isn?t my position to state fact on this novel, that Leon Edel and Edna Kenton were dead on with their interpretations, and that The Turn of the Screw isn?t much deeper than that.