Throughout The turn of the Screw by Henry James, the theme of ambiguous issues is constantly

1600 Words7 Pages
Throughout The turn of the Screw by Henry James, the theme of ambiguous issues is constantly leaving the reader on their own. The ambiguity and uncertainty within this text causes the readers to come up with their own theories as to what the text really means. The ghost story perspective only adds to the infuriating vagueness. The title itself is about all of the twists within this story and basically foreshadows the confusion that the text will cause. In The turn of the Screw, the characters often communicated very indirectly with one another, hinting toward certain situations but never explaining them fully. At the beginning of this story, one of the first vague quotes, “he had been left, by the death of their parents in India,…show more content…
The reader is left to imagine what Miles could have said that was so bad that he had to be expelled. The fact that he said that he only told “a few. Those I liked” causes the reader to assume that whatever was said was most likely homosexually related, because in that time period that would have been the only thing that could have been said to cause Miles to be expelled (248). However, the ambiguity revolving around Miles expulsion restrains the reader from knowing what really happened and why. Miss Jessel and Peter Quint’s past life in the household was very unclear and unexplained within the text. After the Governess tells Mrs. Grose about seeing Miss Jessel by the lake staring at Flora, Mrs. Grose tells her about Miss Jessel and Peter Quint’s “infamous” behavior (189). Mrs. Grose hints that Peter Quint and Miss Jessel were in a sexual relationship but never really explains in details. The quotes, “he did what he wished” and “it must have also been what she wished” are the only evidence that the reader has to support their assumption of the two’s inappropriate relationship (190). During the conversation between the two women, Mrs. Grose suggests that Miss Jessel might have been pregnant by saying “Likes SUCH things—a scrap of an infant… If it isn't a proof of what you say, it's a proof of—God knows what! For the woman's a horror of horrors” (188). When Mrs. Grose asks the Governess how she knows, the Governess realizes that Mrs. Grose is hiding
Get Access