• Subject: The Turn of the Screw
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The Turn of the Screw (Dover Thrift Editions)


To sum up, then, Wilson's revision of his article for the 1938 edition of The Triple Thinkers is a great improvement over the original essay. In the revised version Wilson has expanded on his discussion of Jamesian works as they are related to The Turn of the Screw and has looked in more detail at the story itself. His explanation of the psychological origins of the phantoms provides telling insights into the story and opens the door to additional Freudian, Jungian, and Marxist insights.

Stoll correctly points out a long literary tradition of genuine ghosts which are visible to some people and invisible to others--citing examples from Hamlet, Macbeth, and Julius Caesar--but then unwisely adds, "The reality, on the other hand, of the supernatural is conveyed by other means--by suggestion of indirection--as here, plainly enough" (230). Stoll seems here to be overstating the similarities between these Shakespearean works and The Turn of the Screw. The ghost of Hamlet's father, after all, is seen by quite a few people at the beginning of the play, although it is invisible to Gertrude when it appears to Hamlet in the Queen's chamber. Similarly, while it is true that the ghost of Banquo is invisible to all but Macbeth, it must be remembered that the earlier supernatural visitations--the Weird Sisters--were visible to both Macbeth and Banquo.


The Turn of the Screw full book,

We began this chapter with a consideration of what is arguably the historically most important non-apparitionist essay on The Turn of the Screw. In 1948 Robert N. Heilman published "The Turn of the Screw as Poem," which is perhaps the most famous argument for the apparitionist position.