Turn of the Screw AO4 notes

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  • Created by: Sarah
  • Created on: 14-05-12 18:43

Turn of the Screw AO4 (context) notes

You should aim to refer to one main contextual idea at least twice in your essay, perhaps at the start and then a further paragraph, and also one further AO4 idea which is based on literary context such as other victorian novels, Henry James novels, gothic novels and moralistic novels. 

1. Heroism and Self sacrifice

  • At the time when TOTS was written, the idea of doing your duty for society was prominent.
  • Some readers may see the Governess as a victim or heroine with her world crumbling around her (perhaps naive)

2. Ghosts and the supernatural

  • attitudes towards this at the time were largely focussed on scientific approaches, Henry James' brother was a member of the Cambridge ghost hunting society who often attempted to take pictures of ghosts.

3. Victorian attitudes towards children

  • should be seen and not heard.
  • a gap between childhood and adulthood in upper classes, intricate clothing demonstrates the approach to childhood as the 'golden time' and a need to preserve innocence.
  • seen as Cherubic
  • 'Alice in Wonderland' is not a common portrayal, here childhood is more feisty.

4. Religious attitudes

  • a time of religious doubt, post Darwin, therefore agnosticism was beginning to be considered.
  • Socially acceptable to appear or to…



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