Summary: Turn Of The Screw

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Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar In the novella, Turn of the Screw, hear the story of a young governess who takes on responsibility for an eight-year-old girl, Flora, and her ten-year-old brother, Miles (James, Esch, & Warren 1999). The poor children are orphans with only their bachelor uncle duty-bound to provide for them (James, Esch, & Warren 1999). The children live in the family’s country home, Bly, where they have accommodated with dedicated servants and a fine estate in which to roam (James, Esch, & Warren 1999). Upon the young governess’s arrival at Bly, Miles is still away at school, and she and Flora start get to know one another (James, Esch, & Warren 1999). Shortly before Miles returns to Bly for the summer holiday, the governess…show more content…
This Freudian theory suggests that there is an exaggerated reverence for the mother by her son (Barry, 2009). That such people are only sexually attracted to women who favor their mother (Barry, 2009). Since the taboo of incest makes a sexual relationship awkward, they will only seek out sexual relations with those who do not resemble their mother, thus despising them (Barry, 2009). In essence, to create sexual excitement, those with mother fixation must degrade their objects of sexual desire (Barry, 2009). Miles, being a boy of 10, may have transferred his mother fixation to the governess, as she was the woman in that role in his…show more content…
This Freudian theory consists of one person or event being represented by another (Barry, 2009). Miles may have seen himself in the role of Quint, dominator and immoral sexual predator (James, Esch, & Warren 1999). The young governess he could have seen as Miss Jessel, her predecessor and Quint’s object of seduction (James, Esch, & Warren 1999). It may be that he was trying to dominate the governess with his behavior the way Quint had dominated Miss Jessel (James, Esch, & Warren 1999). Keeping in mind, both Quint and Miss Jessel were dead, and both of their ghosts had appeared to the young governess, it begs the question, was Miles in control of his behavior, or was Quint still influencing him from beyond the grave (James, Esch, & Warren 1999)? Was little Miles acting out from damage caused in spending time with Peter Quint in life? Or was the boy possessed by the evil ghost trying to continue living through the child? Is this a case of mother fixation? Displacement? Or is it just a cigar?

Works Cited
Barry, Peter. Beginning theory: an introduction to literary and cultural theory. 3rd ed., Manchester University Press, 2009.
James, Henry, et al. The turn of the screw: authoritative text, contexts, critism. 2nd ed., W.W. Norton,
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