Marxist Interpretation of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

853 Words 4 Pages

Interpreting The Turn of the Screw by Henry James from a Marxist point of view brings about serious social class distinctions and consequences of violation within that code. Miles and the unnamed Governess’ relationship demonstrate the wrongdoing of social and legal norms. The Governess’ indeterminate social status leave her as a forbidden woman in Victorian society taking on the role of primary caretaker to children, while Miles embodies the character of the absent master to whom the Governess feels intimately attracted. Mile’s union with rebellious, symbol of threat, Peter Quint, ultimately possesses him and lead to the breakdown of the social hierarchy. The Governess and Mile’s connection display the
…show more content…
Her description of Miles focuses on his charm, innocence and ability to strike passion in her. Mile’s mirror image to a Master leave him addressed as a “little gentleman” and partly hinders his innocence, maturing very quickly. His dress and tone toward the Governess suggest the idea of flattering a lady, which she slowly falls into through his swift “’my dear’ which was constantly on his lips for me.”
Miles represents a socially and sexually corrupt figure by the ghost of Peter Quint who violated status on two occasions. His being “too free” with Miles leads to controversy as well as his love affair with the previous governess. The governess’s knowledge on the history behind Quint and Miles changes drastically as she learns more information to discover truth. Her rejection of the idea that Miles could be “bad” transforms into an obsession noting his every action in hopes to reveal that the children are being possessed by ghosts. Despite the connotation of Quint’s clash of class boundaries, the text also suggests the potential homosexual nature of his association with Miles. Therefore, the ghost of Quint stands for everything the Governess is afraid of, and his sense of menace dictates Miles living through his identity. Miles and the Governess also resemble extremely ambiguous behavior. The scene of the governess’s questioning due to Mile’s appearance outside in the middle of the night seems elliptical. His kiss that the

More about Marxist Interpretation of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Open Document