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Comparing Henry James's The Turn Of The Screw And Edgar Allan Poe's The Black Cat

1748 words - 7 pages

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LIBRARY COMPARISON
Introduction
There are many differences and similarities that occur between The Turn of the Screw by Henry James and The black cat by Poe. These differences happen due to their themes, character list and the motif. The two books are similar in their literary device in the use of first person narration.
DIFFERENCES
Themes
The two novels has different themes. Themes are messages the writer would like to pass to the readers. The main theme in The Turn of Screw, are the corruption of the innocent and forbidden subject while The Black Cat has Self-vs. Alter Ego as the main theme.
The Corruption of the Innocent
The governess only hardly indicates that she is scared the ghosts will physically destroy or kill the children. In fact, Miles’s death comes as a surprise to us as readers. This is because we are unrehearsed in the book to think of the ghosts as a physical threat. Till she sends Flora away, the governess does not seem to consider removing the children from the ghosts. She even does not try to scare away the ghost from the house. Instead, the governess’s abilities focus on the ‘corruption’ of the children by the ghost. Before she could realize about quint, the governess thinks that Miles has been corrupting other kids. Although the word corruption is an understatement that permits the governess to remain unclear about what she means. The clear meaning of corruption in this text means exposure to information of sex. According to governess, the children’s exposure to knowledge of sex is a far more dangerous aspect than confronting the living dead or being killed. Therefore, her attempt to save the children is to find out what they know, to make them admit rather than to forecast what might happen to them in the future. Her fear of innocence being corrupted seems to be the reason she approaches the problem in an informed manner. She even thinks that the ghosts are unspeakable.
Forbidden Subjects
One of the most challenging features of The Turn of the Screw is how frequently characters make indirect hints or use vague language rather than communicate directly and clearly. For instance Miles is expelled from school by the headmaster but he refuses to explain the reason behind his expulsion. The governess has several guesses behind expulsion, but only says that he might be ‘corrupting’ the other kids in school which is not the case. The governess also expresses fear that Miles and Flora know the relationship between quint and Jessel. However the nature of the relationship is not well explained in the story. The governess thinks that ghost has influenced their past experience with the children but she does not clearly show how the ghost has influenced. This is a technique of engaging fear and horrible experiences through imagination.
Theme in The Black Cats.
Self vs. Alter Ego
In many of Poe’s tale, “the black cat”, characters wage internal conflicts by depicts imaginary alter egos or assuming...

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