Turn of the Screw

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An Unrequited Love

In "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James, the main character, the governess, is so deluded and lonely that she will do anything necessary to reduce these horrifying feelings and not feel them. She decides that the way to do that is to possibly find love and instead she seems to have found a strange infatuation with her employer. But, sadly because she is located in a country house in Essex, such a longing is not possible to define. When the governess realizes this, she seems to apparently replace her unreciprocated feelings in the shape of ghostly spirits. It possibly is her way of "getting out." Without fully realizing this, the governess has chosen to be an unreliable narrator. Seeing the ghostly spirits which make appearances in this invisible relationship, allows her to feel as though she, herself was a part of an invisible relationship. But in all actuality, there is no relationship because the employer seems to keep ignoring her. When the governess becomes tired of these ghosts, she turns to other characters to fulfill her "goals." It seems that the governess starts seeing ghosts at the same time she desires to be in love. The young governess is instantly attracted to the "handsome, bold and pleasant" (p. 7) bachelor uncle of the orphaned children by whom she is hired. It also seems that she has an overwhelmingly obsession with how beautiful a person is. This overpowering feeling was the original incentive for her accepting the job as governess. The governess gives out the sense at the beginning of the novel that she may have been a little desperate seeing as she knew hardly anything about coming to Essex and jumped right at the chance of it. Her craving to be cherished and prized by a man is provoked by the uncle's "charming ways with women" (p. 7). His politeness gives her an idea of how she would like to be treated in life because perhaps she wasn't treated the best before. When the governess leaves to accept the position, she...
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