Theme Of Madness And Insanity In Henry James The Turn Of The Screw

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In Henry James’s novella, The Turn of the Screw, the topics of sanity and insanity are commonly argued among the readers. Insanity is the state of madness or being irrational while sanity is reasonable behavior. It is up to the audience to decide on whether the author intended for the governess to be sane or insane. Despite this dissension, the governess is insane throughout the whole story because she possesses all the symptoms of a paranoid schizophrenic, has an obsessive personality, and is the only one who claims she sees the apparitions. The governess is clearly insane because her behavior shows the symptoms of someone who is a paranoid schizophrenic. A paranoid schizophrenic is one whose mind is not intact with reality and thinks someone or something is out to get them. On the governess’ first night in Bly, she believes she recognizes “the cry of a child” and the sound of its “light footstep” (James 8). Here, the governess is experiencing and auditory hallucination. Auditory hallucinations are a common symptom of schizophrenia, which is a form of insanity. After spending a few days taking care of and teaching Miles and Flora, the governess has visual hallucinations and claims to see the apparitions of Peter Quint and Miss Jessel. She keeps trying to convince Mrs. Grose (her companion) that “They want to get them” (James 47). At this point, the governess senses that the ghosts…show more content…
Many unfortunate events take place in the novel as a result of the governess’ mad mindset and conduct. The kids in Bly are become separated, and governess is left behind with the dead body of an innocent young boy. Above all, the governess is insane throughout the whole story because she possesses all the symptoms of a paranoid schizophrenic, has an overly-obsessive personality, and is the only one who claims the sight of Peter Quint and Miss
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