|I <3 Deborah Kerr|
Just as the governess in question always instinctively knows what all the other characters are thinking, I instinctively knew that I would enjoy this book as soon as the over the top dramatic tone was set. If our ill-fated governess knows one thing: it is how to use capitalization for emphasis. (When referring to another character using a pronoun, always say "HIM" or "HER", not boring old "him" and "her". It keeps everyone on their toes.) Just like the perceptive governess, my innate knowledge was proved correct (or not just like her, read on!) when I enjoyed this small volume immensely and have added it to a list of beloved spooky reading.
But is everything indeed as it seems??!?!?? Is the secluded country house indeed haunted?!? Or is this a tale of infamy and insanity??? Or, as some of my internet perusing has suggested, was this story a way for Henry James to write about child abuse without really writing about child abuse?
There are a few possible readings of The Turn of the Screw, some of which are:
- It is a ghost story plain and simple.
- It is not a ghost story, but a mad-governess story.
- It is a strange way to couch a story of the effects of abuse.
- It was meant to be "uninterpretable".
Personally, dear reader, I'm inclined towards a combination of actual ghosts and actual mad governess. If I myself were a ghost and was doing some haunting, then it would be a short step from haunting to "I'm going to make this person and the people around them believe that he/she is mad." Two birds: one stone. I, for one, am an advocate of ghost efficiency.