In my new criticism essay, I look at the use of light and dark in Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw to showcase the ambiguity of the text. The governess’s allusions to light, darkness, windows, and candles create a chilling atmosphere and also leave a lot of the horrors of the story open to interpretation. James purposely creates this ambiguity so that the reader does not know whether or not the governess is truly insane or if the children are indeed possessed by evil spirits. Therefore, the true contrast of light and dark is how much the reader is left in the dark, and what we are allowed to see clearly in the light.
I really enjoyed studying such a classic text as The Turn of the Screw. I love the haunting elements of the text; whether it is the evil spirits themselves or the insanity that lurks in the mind of the governess. I chose to include this paper in my portfolio because I truly enjoyed writing it and studying the text so closely.