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Examples Of Ambiguity In The Turn Of The Screw By Henry James

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In Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, the reader must question the governess’ sanity and determine for themselves whether the ghosts seen by the governess are projections of her own unconscious thoughts and desires, or if they are truly there and haunting the children. The text itself allows for these two highly contradictory perceptions. The differing perceptions of readers contribute to the ambiguity of the text itself forcing the reader to become one with the story as well as a product of the story in order to gain an understanding of the text itself.
To interpret the events that transpired throughout the story, one must first immerse himself or herself into the story. Felman writes, “…the story’s frame thus encloses not only the story’s content, but, equally, its readers and its reading” (124). Once one becomes part of the story, his or her perceptions become part of the story as well. Each new insight creates a deeper meaning of the story and a new lens one can use to comprehend it. At the very end of the story, when the governess begins to interrogate Miles, she becomes so engrossed in the
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One can only make sense of it once they themselves become part of the story and allow themselves to views the events that happened through many different lenses. Whether or not the reader views the governess as a deranged woman, whose repressed desires lead to her have these delusions or simply a woman who tried her hardest to protect the innocence of Miles and Flora is up to the reader based upon the lens he or she chooses to look through. While the reader may never know, with one hundred percent certainty, whether or not the ghosts were real or merely delusions, with the help of the many lenses generated, one can hope to find some sort of answer that fills the void and satisfies the need of needing an

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