© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Turn of the Screw

The Turn of the Screw

by Henry James

The Turn of the Screw Analysis

Literary Devices in The Turn of the Screw

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Nautical imagery occasionally appears as a symbol for – well, we're not quite sure what, but going from everything else in the story, it probably has to do with confusion and lack of knowledg...

Setting

After the Prologue, the entire story takes place on the grounds of Bly, a remote and extensive country estate. The house is old and creepy, and from the very beginning has the air of a haunted plac...

Narrator Point of View

We have two first person narrators throughout the course of the story. Our first narrator (who may or may not be Henry James himself, but either way, is certainly a stand-in for the figure of the a...

Genre

The Turn of the Screw is one of the great horror stories of all time – since its publication, it's been incredibly influential on the genre as a whole. The most amazing thing about it is the...

Tone

James cultivates a tone of honest, direct discourse in the Governess's manuscript; in so doing, he works to preserve the fictional frame of the story – remember, we're supposed to believe tha...

Writing Style

This story is a fascinating example of the difference between tone and style. While James adopts a highly emotional, somewhat melodramatic, and intensely personal tone in writing the Governess's na...

What's Up With the Title?

This title's meaning is exposed on the very first page of the story; after hearing a ghoulish tale in which a child is menaced by some ghostly terror, someone suggests that the fact that the story'...

What's Up With the Ending?

Hmm, good question – what is up with this ending? Basically, the story leaves us right in the middle of things. If you're stumped by the rapid-fire sequence of events of the last chapter, don...

Plot Analysis

The Governess arrives on the scene at Bly (Chapter One)The beginning of the story is set up very neatly for us; first, Douglas gives us the critical background information on the Governess in the P...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

The PrologueSo, as you've probably noticed, this is a rather unconventional story. A large part of the story's thrill comes from the experience of reading, rather than the actual events of the tale...

Three Act Plot Analysis

The short-lived idyll of the Governess's new life at Bly ends abruptly with the unsettling first two appearances of Peter Quint – we know that something's majorly wrong when Mrs. Grose reveal...

Trivia

The Turn of the Screw was actually adapted into a popular opera by superstar English composer Benjamin Britten in 1954. (Source)Interestingly, the story may have been inspired by an actual (possibl...

Steaminess Rating

OK, so there's no sex overtly mentioned in this story –it is, after all, a Victorian story about children. But The Turn of the Screw gets a "P" added to that "G" simply because of the implied...

Allusions

Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho (4.1)Henry Fielding, Amelia (9.4)David and Saul, Biblical figures (18.3)Mrs. Jane Marcet (10.5)

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement