Like many of Poe’s stories, The Turn of the Screw is a story that refuses to be read. From the very beginning, you aren’t really sure what exactly this story is about. Even after you have delved into the story completely, you’re still uncertain. And the story doesn’t really give you many clues either. For this reason, I am not going to summarize the story, because every piece of it is all based on reader interpretation. There are very few facts in this book. In fact, the only fact I could walk away with is that there is no objective reality: only interpretation. The details of this story are absolutely unimportant and irrelevant. It’s more of an experience than a novel.
Still, I highly recommend it. I understand why it is a must for English majors. This is definitely the emergence of the postmodern. The story is full of suspense and disbelief. The whole time, the reader is left wondering what the newest development means to their interpretation of the events so far: is your take on the story supported or completely destroyed? I changed my mind about this story several times only to change it several more in my class discussion.
This book is definitely nightmarish, but it shows the creative possibilities of fiction work. James take a story that he reportedly heard from a Protestant pope and turned it into a psychological thriller. If that isn’t awesome, what is?
Although it was difficult for me to get through at times – the language is a little daunting and the story is definitely difficult – it is a worthwhile journey.