The Turn of the Screw and Twilight

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English Essay – Catherine Cooper
“Texts on their own are interesting, but when compared to other texts they become illuminating” Discuss in relation to ‘Twilight’ and ‘The Turn of the Screw’ Essay
Texts on their own are thought-provoking, motivating, fascinating and stimulating. With a background context, audiences may learn about the values of the time. Although when studying more than one text, if the contexts are understood, the two texts can be analysed, interpreted, compared, contrasted, it becomes informative and audiences may learn more about the values held in the texts. The texts are illuminating when compared to each other because we are able to see what values are being challenged through the gothic genre in regard to the context. Values including sexuality, forbidden relationships and the role of women are represented and explored in both Henry James’s gothic novel The Turn of The Screw, composed in the Victorian era and Catherine Hardwicke’s 21st century gothic film, Twilight. Sexuality is explored in both Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw and Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight. Through studying Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, it is evident in the England 19th century sexuality was a taboo and was expected to be conservative. Although in the gothic novel sexuality is not spoken of directly, there are connotations of sexuality throughout the text. The governess is sexually frustrated and repressed, she is not given her desires so is preoccupied by the ghosts, “he is handsome…remarkably”. As James had a strong background in Freud’s theory, his father being a keen reader of Sigmund Freud’s work, his brother a Freudian psychologist and philosopher, the likely reason why the governess really sees the ghosts is a result of her sexual repression, the Freudian theory being “when the pleasure principle cannot express itself, it must bury (repress) or transfer (sublimate) its desire”. Whereas in 21st century postmodern society active sexuality is...
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