Discuss The Effects, And Dangers, Of A Powerful Imagination In The Turn Of The Screw And The Magic Toyshop.

1824 words - 7 pages

The novels The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, and The Magic Toyshop, by Angela Carter both possess a great deal of fantasy on the behalf of the characters. This mainly features in the protagonists of Melanie in The Magic Toyshop and the governess in The Turn of the Screw. By examining the role of these main characters and those around them, the effects and dangers of strong character imagination will be exposed.“So long as the events are veiled, the imagination will run riot and depict all sorts of horrors, but as soon as the veil is lifted, all mystery disappears.” (Henry James). This shows that from an author’s perspective, an imagination is a powerful thing, adding mystery and suspense to a novel, as opposed to the possibly rather boring events of real life. In order to maintain this power of imagination, James ended The Turn of the Screw with a question mark, instead of a full stop.The governess has a strong imagination; to begin with, we see her beautifying what is ugly to make where she lives a nice place and to control some of her apprehension. The house was ‘a big, ugly, antique’ (p156), yet to her, the house makes ‘the view of a castle of romance inhabited by a rosy sprite, such a place as would somehow, for diversion of the young idea, take all color out of story books and fairy tales.’ (p155) This shows that a powerful imagination is not always a danger, often twisting things towards good. However, in this novel, it can be considered an insight to just how strong the governess’s imagination will become.One of the concepts of the story spurs from the governess’s imagination. In one case, the governess believes that the ghost of Peter Quint is casting his evil influence over Flora and Miles, attempting to corrupt them. This leads to irrational action and intense suspicion towards the children on the part of the governess, and is an example of a powerful imagination being a danger.One irony found here is that the governess realises that she has a commanding imagination, with ‘my dreadful liability to impressions of the order so vividly exemplified’ (p175), and yet does not make any attempts to control it or rethink the events of the ghostly appearances.The governess’s overactive imagination leads her so deep into this belief of the ghosts, that when she sees the ghost of Miss Jessel, but the housekeeper and Flora claim not to, the governess begins to think that Flora is lying, and scares her into moving bedrooms. Again, this shows that a powerful imagination can border onto paranoia, and be a danger.This continues on to one of the main themes in the novel: corruption of the innocent. While the governess believes that the ghosts of Miss Jessel and Peter Quint are trying to poison the children, her overactive imagination and suspicious, obsessive mind is doing the same thing, tormenting the children. The irony here is that, therefore, due to a powerful imagination, the children...

Find Another Essay On Discuss the effects, and dangers, of a powerful imagination in the turn of the screw and the magic toyshop.

Protecting Miles and Flora in The Turn of the Screw

2040 words - 8 pages to get, which is not going to protect the children in anyway as she would be trying to sort out her imagination. The governess is only a child herself, having to cope with two other children alone maybe a bit to much too handle, so having this other pressure (the hallucinations) to cope with might just leave her to break down mentally. In the turn of the screw, Henry James never identifies who is to blame for the chaos at Bly. The

Narration in The Turn of the Screw

1475 words - 6 pages Narration in The Turn of the Screw Henry James makes the governess the narrator because she keeps the readers’ interest by also being involved in the story as a main character. However, being involved on this personal level, it can make the governess exaggerate at times and be over-emotional. Her determined and curious nature makes her an ideal candidate to explore the mysterious happenings, however her imagination keeps the reader in

The Turn of the Screw

726 words - 3 pages As I write this essay at one in the morning just like a typical student on a weekday, I find astounding how a story can leave you with more questions than answers. The Turn of the Screw acts as a perfect example of it. This particular story can be interpreted in many ways, and based in our own opinion we can therefore formulate an answer. The uncertainty of the facts drags us to make up our own answers to the questions. Why? Because if our mind

The Turn of the Screw

1258 words - 5 pages Love Between the Classes: An Analysis of Social Status Violation in The Turn of the Screw A Marxist reading of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James brings to light how social status differences and above all how the violation of these distinctions affect the story. The relationship between the governess and Miles is a clear example of this kind of transgression. As an unnamed character, the governess has an indefinite social status. She is

The Turn of the Screw

1165 words - 5 pages Superficially, Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw seems to reinforce the status quo of American literature as male, whereby men are viewed as having power over women leaving women to become mere objects. James creates a nameless female protagonist whose story is told through the guise of a male narrator. She becomes an object viewed by Douglas’s audience and is used simply as means for the master on Harley Street to avoid being bothered by his

Turn of the Screw Analysis

1025 words - 5 pages Throughout the Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, ambiguity is used purposely in respect to the reality of the ghosts. Without certainty the reader must guess and assume in order to determine if the ghosts are real or if they are conjured in the governess's mind. In this book there is more proof for the imagination of the ghosts. One source of evidence is the preparedness of the governess. At the beginning of the book the governess is being

Turn of the Screw Ambiguity

660 words - 3 pages In the novella Turn of the Screw by Henry James, the owner of the estate at Bly, a bachelor left to take care of his young niece and nephew, seeks a governess who "should never trouble him...neither appeal nor complain nor write about anything; only meet all questions herself, receive all moneys from his solicitor, take the whole thing over and let him alone," (James 122). Either the governess' paranoia over these strange demands causes her to

A Psychological Perspective of The Turn of the Screw

2121 words - 8 pages or secret doors. The images and words in The Turn of the Screw gave the readers some hints and made them guess and imagine what were going to happen. In fact, the imagination of the readers created a much more horrified story in their minds. For instance, when the Governess suddenly saw a stranger at the tower, she felt "two distinct gasps of emotion;" at first she was shock then surprised (James 310). The readers imagine the sharp emotion raised

Henry James' The Turn of the Screw

1719 words - 7 pages memory decay, others claim our memory remains indefinitely intact. Though theorists are divided on the reality of memory decay, it plays a greater role in The Turn of the Screw than most readers consider (if, in fact, any do). Further, theorists, David Groome and Nina Grant of the University of Westminster suggest that decay is not the only inhibitor of accurate memories. Referring to memory-retrieval conflicts, Groome and Grant suggest “Retrieval

Escaping the Governess in The Turn of the Screw

2424 words - 10 pages him outside in the middle of the night. The Governess feels that Quint has allowed "...the imagination of all evil...[to be] opened up to him [Miles]" (**).   The Governess's creation of Quint and her description of Flora as figuratively "screwing" with sticks are the manifestations of her sexual desires. The Governess longs for a manly influence; the very nature of her position at Bly forces her to live away from manly influences. At the

Turn Of the Screw, The Governess' repression

851 words - 3 pages Frustration causes many to lose grip on reality. When one aspires to complete a goal, but fails, frustration ensues. Turn of the Screw by Henry James showcases the narrator's futile attempts to carry out her plans. With every turn of the screw, the story goes deeper, and truth fades into transparency. At face value, the story shows ghosts corrupting the house's youth. However, the Governess' frustration-induced duplicity proves to make her

Similar Essays

Discuss The Impact Of The Past Upon The Present In Both "Persuasion" By Jane Austen And "The Magic Toyshop" By Angela Carter, From The Point Of View Of Both Characterisation And Plot.

2579 words - 10 pages In both Persuasion by Jane Austen and Angela Carter's The Magic Toyshop, the past has significance both in terms of characterisation and of plot.Persuasion focuses on a renewal of an old love between the main character, Anne Elliot, and Captain Frederick Wentworth. Eight years before Anne accepted a marriage proposal from Wentworth thinking of nothing but her love for him. However, she is persuaded by her friend and mentor not to marry him, her

Discuss The Ways In Which At Least One And Not More Than Two Of The Following Texts Demonstrate And/Or Contradict Barthes’ Theory Of The Death Of The Author: A Christmas Carol, Frankenstein, Strange...

3134 words - 13 pages Discuss the ways in which at least one and not more than two of the following texts demonstrate and/or contradict Barthes' theory of the death of the author: A Christmas Carol, Frankenstein, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Turn of the Screw.Your answer must make close reference to Barthes' essay and include evidence of wider secondary reading."The explanation of a work is always sought in the man or woman who produced it, as if it

Turn Of The Screw Essay

2709 words - 11 pages “The Turn of the Screw” Henry James, the famous author of ‘The Turn of the Screw’ was born on April 15, 1843 to his wealthy parents Henry James and Mary Walsh. His father, also called Henry James, was an Irish immigrant and by the time his own children were born he had inherited a lot of money from his father; and at this time Henry James senior and his family were living in New York. Henry James author of ‘The Turn Of The Screw’ was one of

Turn Of The Screw Essay

704 words - 3 pages The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, has a movie version in addition to the book. Both accounts tell essentially the same story, but because many interpretations can be formulated, the movie is only an example of one interpretation. One particular section of interest is the very last scene in the movie and chapter 24 in the book. Although the movie makes it clear that the governess accidentally suffocated Miles, the book is up to personal