OPINION: GHOSTS REAL
Interpreting The Turn of the Screw by Henry James from a Marxist point of view brings about serious social class distinctions and consequences of violation within that code. Miles and the unnamed Governess’ relationship demonstrate the wrongdoing of social and legal norms. The Governess’ indeterminate social status leave her as a forbidden woman in Victorian society taking on the role of primary caretaker to children, while Miles embodies the character of the absent master to whom the Governess feels intimately attracted. Mile’s union with rebellious, symbol of threat, Peter Quint, ultimately possesses him and lead to the breakdown of the social hierarchy. The Governess and Mile’s connection display the inappropriate boundary crossed between professional duties and desirable futures as a sexually active individual. Through the two characters moments alone, the rising apprehensions end in the governess’s infringement of social status as she employs to a mysterious sexual relationship with Miles.
Marxist criticism leaves society thinking that dominant classes overpower social order. However, its goal is to present ideas of changing social realities, so future generations will know all people are important and equal. During the Victorian period, a Governess was faced with contradictory burdens leaving them uneasy with status imbalance. The governess is uncomfortable with the fact that she could be similar to the servants/ghosts, because she still feels that she is above them socially. Her desire to break out of the class structure, yet her inability to do so, shows her dependence on the structure. From her first moments at Bly or the “castle of romance”, she instantly feels the conflict between her emotional feelings verse her fixed status. Also, her response “to be carried away” leaves the reader to imply her aspiration to be taken on an adventure. Her description of Miles focuses on his charm, innocence and ability to strike passion in her. Mile’s mirror image to a Master leave him addressed as a “little gentleman” and partly hinders his innocence, maturing very quickly. His dress and tone toward the Governess suggest the idea of flattering a lady, which she slowly falls into through his swift “’my dear’ which was constantly on his lips for me.”
Miles represents a socially and sexually corrupt figure by the ghost of Peter Quint who violated status on two occasions. His being “too free” with Miles leads to controversy as well as his love affair with the...