Turn of the Screw, Historicism Approach

Topics: Victorian era, Social class, Victorian literature Pages: 4 (1330 words) Published: March 11, 2013
In what way are influences from the Victorian society present within the work, and how do these influences complicate the meaning of the work as a whole ? - Regarding The Turn of The Screw. The Victorian era consisted of moralistic, prudish ideals, a sexist point of view and therefore enforced etiquette and good manners as a way of life. Henry James demonstrates a lack of propriety for this time period’s strict code of conduct, with his written work, ‘The turn of the screw’. By doing so, and somewhat rebelling against the sexually restraining, low crime tolerance era that it was, he more or so brings across his standpoint of prohibition through his own storytelling of a horror story of a woman gone mad. One of the most important parts of living the Victorian way of life was to demonstrate a person’s social class to the outside world. This was not limited to only apparel worn, but with shown with impeccable class, patience, and the preservation of prudish mannerisms. A child is expected to wear a hat outdoors when born of wealth, or of royalty, even if they are out of bed and frolicking in the night. And a woman is expected to always properly be introduced to her employer, and anyone else for that matter, so to avoid any unfamiliarity between employer-employee and cause her imagination to go into frenzy. It’s a lack of familiarity between the governess and her master that provided plenty of working space for the governess’s imagination to play tricks on her as she slowly fell trapped by her lust for a mysterious man. James’ made it so acceptable and rather easy to comply with this pretend romance between his two characters inaptly. To have done so could have suggested many of Jame’s true standpoints of the topic of romance between professionals and their bosses. It’s slightly inappropriate nowadays to be caught sleeping with your boss, not necessarily because you are looked down upon for taking part in premarital sex or even engaging in a unwed relationship in the...
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