The Turn of The Screw A project by: E’5—3rd Class of Junior High Teacher: Ms Kyriakidou April 2009
Why is the novella titled The turn of the Screw? What do you think? • By titling his work The Turn of the Screw, James suggests that the phrase “the turn of the screw” is a fitting representation of the tale. The phrase works as a metaphor that compares a tale's effect on its recipients to a screw boring into a hole. With each turn of the screw, the story's point is driven home, and its recipients are pierced further and on a deeper level. • James turns the screw when Douglas does, with the introduction of a story involving not one but two children falling prey to supernatural events. The screw turns again when we understand that the children of the governess's tale are not merely victims but participants in the realm of ghosts and may even be plotting deceits and evil deeds themselves. With the suggestion that the governess is insane and that she, not her imaginary ghost world, is the villain, the plot thickens even more. • Leda Alafogianni & Celia Theodosopoulou
The Turn of the Screw • This year our English teacher assigned to us The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. • It was a masterpiece and we all loved it! We discussed it thoroughly in the classroom and we watched a movie called The Innocents based on the novella.
Literature Project • Having read the novella and having watched the movie we wrote several essays about the plotline and characters of the story. Here is our work!!! • Enjoy!!!! • Celia Theodosopoulou
The Turn of the Screw: The Plot • The story starts with friends sharing ghost stories around the fire on Christmas Eve. One of the guests tells about a governess at a country house plagued by supernatural visitors. But in the hands of Henry James, this little tale of terror becomes so much more!!!!. • Only the young governess can see the ghosts; only she suspects that the previous governess and her lover are controlling the two orphaned children for some evil purpose.
The Turn of the Screw: The Plot • The household staff don't know what she's talking about, the children are evasive when questioned, and the master of the house (the children's uncle) is absent. • Why does the young girl claim not to see the woman standing on the far side of the lake? • Are the children being deceptive, or is the governess being paranoid? • By leaving the questions unanswered, The Turn of Screw generates spine-tingling anxiety in its mesmerized readers. • Dimitris Chatoglou—Minos Papakyriakopoulos
The gripping story ofThe Turn of the Screw has inspired many artists over the years. So, there are many television versions, plays, films and even songs and paintings based on the Jamesian novella!!!!! • “Geraldine Page, right, questions Nina Reader in the presence of Catherine Nesbitt and Rex Thompson in The Turn of the Screw. Gore Vidal’s television version the Henry James; thriller which will be presented on Omnibus between 5 and 6:30 pm today over C.B.S.TV.”
Here’s a brief list of all the movies, or televised versions we could find after extensive research (and hard work…!) • The Turn of the Screw (1959) an early live television play directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Ingrid Bergman • Perhaps the most highly regarded adaptation is The Innocents (1961) directed by Jack Clayton and starring Deborah Kerr • Dan Curtis's well-regarded TV movie The Turn of the Screw (1974) with Lynn Redgrave • A 1989 adaptation for Shelley Duvall's Nightmare Classics starring Amy Irving
And the list goes on and on…. • The TV movie The Haunting of Helen Walker/The Turn of the Screw (1995) starring Valerie Bertinelli • A theatrical adaptation by Jeffrey Hatcher in which one woman plays the governess and a man fills the rest of the roles • Presence of Mind (1999), an acclaimed Spanish-made adaptation with Sophie Ward and Harvey Keitel • A British TV adaptation The Turn of the Screw (1999) with Jodhi May and Colin Firth • A 2006 film, In a Dark Place is ostensibly based upon the novel. • The 2001 film The Others includes many of the same elements as The Turn of the Screw.
And in case that did not surprise you, this little piece of information will certainly make you twitch!!!! DID YOU KNOW THAT: • An episode of CSI, first broadcast May 6, 2004, was titled "Turn of the Screws" and contained several references to James's work. • The third episode of the second season of Lost refers to a film reel hidden on a shelf behind the book titled "Turn of the Screw".
What is it that makes this novella so intriguing that it is never outdated—even now, a century later? We guess it’s the enthralling narrative voice of Henry James and his well-known taste for open-endings
Is the Governess Insane or not? • The following is a sample of some of the essays that we had to develop in writing as part of the project. • Our teacher chose 5 as the best and then we got to vote in order to decide which is truly THE BEST from each category. Some of the students asked permission to co-operate or form groups which only made things…much, much better, as you see!!!! • The winning essays appear in this presentation • Answer the Questions below in your Writing Notebook. Your answer must be between 70-100 words. • 1. Is the governess the heroine or the villain of The Turn of the Screw? • 2. How does the phrase “the turn of the screw” apply to the governess's tale? • 3. If you were to write an additional / alternative ending to this novella, what would it be?
Some of us claim that she is stark-mad while others say she is the victim of supernatural forces!!!!!!Essay 1 • In Henry James' novella The Turn of the Screw we are presented with an unreliable governess that tells a story about a haunted mansion. The novella is so ambiguous that at the end the question still remains: do the ghosts exist or is the governess going wildly insane? The film version, directed by Jack Clayton is much less ambiguous, but with evidence of both sides. The Innocents leans more toward the fact that the ghosts do exist and the children are possessed, although they might not realize it. This is a scary approach because the children seem so helpless at the hands of these apparitions. The governess is no saint though, as she has her bizarre hallucinations. The combination of the ghosts truly existing with the fact that the governess is becoming terribly eccentric really raises the suspense factor. This film succeeds because it makes the viewer think about what is going on and then come up with his or her own conclusion. • Marouli Evangelianna
Essay 2 • Not only do I believe in the ghost interpretation but I also think that the children are possessed. " The governess gradually believes that these innocents may be possessed by the spirits of a former governess and her lover, over the objections of the friendly housekeeper." There are two scenes that portray the possession theory best. One is when the governess comes into Miles room at night and finds a dead bird under his pillow. The bird's neck had been broken. This child must have been possessed by some evil to do this horrible deed. The second scene is the scene with Flora and the governess. • It seems that when Flora is dancing she is doing it for someone - Miss Jessel. Flora only becomes worse as she starts going insane herself. Flora, the sweet and innocent, starts screaming uncontrollably and letting out language that a nine year old shouldn't know. It seems again that she is possessed by some evil. • Lena Christakou
Whyname the novella “The Turn of the Screw”? What can you imagine?There were multiple responses to this question.Unfortunately we ccan only post but a few!!!!Essay 3 • By titling his work The Turn of the Screw, James suggests that the phrase “the turn of the screw” is a fitting representation of the tale. The phrase works as a metaphor that compares a tale's effect on its recipients to a screw boring into a hole. With each turn of the screw, the story's point is driven home, and its recipients are pierced further and on a deeper level. • James turns the screw when Douglas does, with the introduction of a story involving not one but two children falling prey to supernatural events. The screw turns again when we understand that the children of the governess's tale are not merely victims but participants in the realm of ghosts and may even be plotting deceits and evil deeds themselves. With the suggestion that the governess is insane and that she, not her imaginary ghost world, is the villain, the plot thickens even more. • Minos Papakyriakopoulos—Celia Theodosopoulou—Leda Alafogianni
Essay 4 • My opinion is that the name of the novel itself brings to mind various images of torture!!Some people might think this is far-fetched, however for me this image of a turning screw is very painful! • Imagine: one more turn will make things tighter and tenser. It keeps turning until something stretches, like a body that is tortured, or one’s mind,stretching and turning to the very breaking point.. So the title is perfect since, James’s story is painful and tantalizing for the characters involved bringing to mind a merciless screw always turning……. • Manolis Antonakis
An Alternative Ending to the Story? Final ResolutionVI • After Miles death, the governess didn’t want to stay at Bly. She wanted to leave Bly as fast as possible. It was very important for her to go away from the ghosts, she believed that Miss Jessel and Peter Quint would want to take her in the place of Frola. So, she left the house and soon she found a new job in a house many miles away from Bly. The new house was called Sothkit. She found her new post delightful and the children as cute as Miles and Flora. She lived in this house for about three years. The first two years passed uneventfully, but the governess wanted to see Flora so much, so, she to told her new employer that she wanted t visit somebody very close to her. But the new employer didn’t want to leave the governess go away, because he had fallen in love with her, so he wanted her close to him. When the employer refused to let her visit Flora, the governess fell in depression for three weeks. During these three weeks the governess started behaving in a strange way. She was always in darkness and she never wanted to talk to anybody. In the fourth week the governess began to see Miss Jessel and Peter Quint again and finally a month after beginning to see the ghosts again, she mysteriously died.Kostis Seidis
A rather different ending to the story…The Devil comes in all shapes!!!VI The governess was devastated after Miles’ death…so , she took an overdose of sleeping pills and died in her bathtub (like Marilyn Monroe)…However, Miles was not really dead! He was faking it..and of course his devilish little sister, Flora, was part of the show too!!! It seems that these little seemingly “angelic” children were evil! They got a kick out of killing governesses or driving them to suicide!! Three governesses had already passed from Bly and they had all died tragically!!!! Little Flora and Miles went upstairs wore their best clothes and then poured themselves some champagne! They congratulated each other on yet another perfect crime and smiled. Then the doorbell rang…..It was their newly appointed governess…she introduced herself and they smiled oh, so innocently….. Chryssoula Tolia