Essay about Love in Henry James' Turn of the Screw

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To Insanity in Pursuit of Love.
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James is usually read as a ghost story in which the central character, the governess, tries to save the souls of two children possessed by evil. However, the short-story can be also analyzed from many different perspectives, as we come upon a number of hints that lead to various understanding of certain scenes. One of the possible interpretations is the psychoanalytical one, in which we interpret the events either from the point of view of the governess or from the perspective of the two children. I will concentrate on the problem of the governess who, restricted by her own problems and moral dilemmas, projects her fears on her pupils and in this way harms the children. What
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This is clearly stated by Douglas when he says about the offer: "The moral of which was of course the seduction exercised by the splendid young man. She succumbed to it" (James 13). As the love is not fulfilled, with no prospects for the future relationship with the master, the young woman starts to be overpowered by her romantic and sexual needs. The matter gets worse when her imagination starts to play tricks and then she projects a figure of a man during one of the walks. Later on, as her state of mind is far from normal and she becomes obsessed with love, the male ghost is paired with his female lover. Only in this unconscious way can the governess express her needs, which the cruel Victorian society, "with its restrictive code of sexual morality,"as Jane Nardin calls it, rejected and made her quench (qtd. in Parkinson, ch. 6).
Being the daughter of a poor parson, the governess has probably never tasted real love. Her whole knowledge about the romantic relationships is based on novels like Pamela where "a middle-class girl finds an upper class man," Nardin points out (qtd. in Parkinson, ch. 6). On meeting her employer, she immediately recalls the scheme of one of the novels and imagines the future with the man. Also when walking alone the governess dreams about meeting the man of her life. When her psychological health deteriorates she can no longer distinguish the imagined from the real. The ghosts start to haunt her, she thinks she can hear their voices and

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