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The ruined remains of a Fuller story - the governess as (un)reliable narrator in Henry James The turn of the screw
2001 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

Henry James’s The Turn of The Screw is a wonderfully well written horror story, which has been enjoyed by many. There is an overflow of ambiguity and misunderstandings in this novella, and there are a great number of allusions to many things that we will never know the answers to. In the novella, the protagonist is telling the reader about an episode in her life in which she claims she saw ghosts. Since she is the narrator of the major part of the novella one can wonder if she is reliable or not. She tells the reader the story, the intrigues, and how she interprets them and how she interprets the other characters. This paper will focus on the narrator’s reliability, what makes her trustworthy, and what does not make her trustworthy. The narrator’s story is full of ambiguities, and this is why one can doubt her reliability. On the other hand, there are sections where she appears to be a very sane person. Thus, the story could be read as if the narrator is suffering from a mental disease or it can be read as if she is the only one that sees the ghosts. In this paper I will examine different factors that one must have in mind when investigating the narrator’s reliability. I will also give some examples of instances where the narrator seems reliable and other examples of where she seems unreliable.

Abstract [en]

Henry James’s The Turn of The Screw is a wonderfully well written horror story, which has been enjoyed by many. There is an overflow of ambiguity and misunderstandings in this novella, and there are a great number of allusions to many things that we will never know the answers to. In the novella, the protagonist is telling the reader about an episode in her life in which she claims she saw ghosts. Since she is the narrator of the major part of the novella one can wonder if she is reliable or not. She tells the reader the story, the intrigues, and how she interprets them and how she interprets the other characters. This paper will focus on the narrator’s reliability, what makes her trustworthy, and what does not make her trustworthy. The narrator’s story is full of ambiguities, and this is why one can doubt her reliability. On the other hand, there are sections where she appears to be a very sane person. Thus, the story could be read as if the narrator is suffering from a mental disease or it can be read as if she is the only one that sees the ghosts. In this paper I will examine different factors that one must have in mind when investigating the narrator’s reliability. I will also give some examples of instances where the narrator seems reliable and other examples of where she seems unreliable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. , 18 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53672Local ID: ENG C-12OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53672DiVA: diva2:1102232
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf