preview

Battlement Towers In The Turn Of The Screw

Good Essays
In the novella Turn of the Screw, our narrator is out for a stroll during her alone time after putting her pupils to bed. As she walks, she describes how much she longs to see a handsome face by chance on a nice day. She looks up to see a man glaring at her through and embrasure of a pair of battlement towers that are distinct among the rest of the architecture. She says, “I admired them, had fancies about them, for we could all profit in a degree, especially when they loomed through the dusk, by the grandeur of their actual battlements; yet it was not at such an elevation that the figure I had so often invoked seemed most in place” (James 27). The elevation of such a structure would, for a usual person, distort and deter the viewer’s vision…show more content…
She says, “He was the same—he was the same, and seen, this time, as he had been seen before, from the waist up, the window, though the dining-room was on the ground-floor, not going down to the terrace on which he stood” (James 34). Her confirmation that the apparition in the window is the same as the one among the towers is and unreliable account of the story, for her certainty cannot possibly be so due to the situation she was in with the ghost prior to this one. The governess saw this apparition first on her evening stroll. She describes the time as when, “the day lingered and the last calls of the last birds sounded, in a flushed sky, from the old trees…It produced in me, this figure, in the clear twilight[…]” (James 26-27). Twilight is a time where light refracts off the earth, giving it a poorly illuminated cast of the world. Clear twilight is somewhat of a contradictory statement made by the governess. Twilight has another meaning that defines the word as, “-in reference to imperfect mental illumination or perception”…show more content…
Henry James gives the governess the bittersweet gift of validity and pride at the end of the book. Throughout the novella, she is the only one who sees these apparitions, jading her pride and credibility to the readers and her acquaintances within the story. Not only until the last few pages within the novella does she attain her credibility, but in a sinister manner. The governess is just about to uncover the reasons for Miles’s expulsion when the late Peter Quint appears with his fiery red hair and marble white composure outside of the window. Startled, Miles asks if it is Mrs. Jessel, the former governess whom the new governess has claimed to see on multiple occasions. As the governess questions miles, she becomes “infatuated—… was blind with victory, though even then the very effect that was to have brought him so much nearer was already that of added separation” (James 147). When Miles sees the ghost of Peter Quint, he immediately collapses into the governess’s arms after releasing a horrific scream. The governess catches miles who she believes clearly saw the apparition which she needed for her validation and credibility. But once she realizes that Mile’s has died in her arms, her success and peace of mind disappear for she is now still the only one to claim to have seen these ghosts. Henry James creates a character that emotionally torments herself
Get Access