Turn of the Screw

This is a summary of some useful quotes from critics for the AO3 part of your essay for OCR AS level in English Literature, refering to Henry James' novel 'The Turn of the Screw'

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  • Created by: Sarah
  • Created on: 13-05-12 16:20

Ambiguity

Ambiguity

1. "most readers view it as a ghost story only the death of Miles' makes them go back and review that" (Terry Heller) as it is not the ghosts directly who cause Miles' death. 

2. "James does not permit us to determine the solution" (Todorar)

3. "The little personal mystery of the Governess" (Kenton) 

4. "The heroine - this time a Governess, has nothing in the least substantial upon which to base her deep and startling cognitions" (The Critic)

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Evil

Evil

1."free from the slightest hint of grossness...of any precise form of evil" (The New York Times book review).

2. "in the outcome goodness is scarcely triumphant" (The New York Times book review)

3. "the ghosts represent a repressed, avenging class, taking advantage of any moments of political crisis" (McMaster)

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The Children

The Children

1."to save it all needed some infusion of beauty or prettiness...beauty of the pathetic...the helpless plasticity of childhood" (in a letter to Louis Waldstein)

2."the children are just plain evil" (Siegal)

3. "the children are a symbolic representation of Adam and Eve, Bly is the garden of Eden, Quint is the Devil" (Robert Heilman)

4. "the appaling chaos of critical opinion" (Booth)

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James' Writing

James' Writing

1. "the power of a well managed darkness" (Burke)

2. "given his readers shivers with the coldness with which he treats intense emotions" (Life 32 by Robert Bridges)

3. "I had to rule out any subjective complications of her- play of tone etc and keep her impersonal, save the most obvious and indispensible little note of neatness, firmness and courage" (In a letter to H.G Wells)

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The Governess

The Governess

1. "the little personal mystery of the Governess" (Kenton)

2. "The heroine - this time a Governess has the nothing in the least substantial upon which to base her deep and startling cognitions" (The Critic)

3. "to save it all needed some infusion of beauty or prettiness...beauty of the pathetic...the helpless plasticity of childhood" (In a letter to Louis Waldstein)

4. "I had to rule out any subjective complications of her - play of tone etc and keep her impersonal, save the most obvious and indispensible little note of neatness, firmness and courage" (In a letter to HG Wells)

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