MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

414 views

Can you explain the narrative techniques in The Turn of The Screw?

The governess is what we would call an unreliable narrator. She is unreliable for a variety of reasons- the most popular reason amongst critics being that she is insane. Following the psychological analysis of the governess' insanity, one can argue that the ghosts are not real, but figments of the governess' imagination- this would make her accounts of the ghosts unreliable. 

Upon close analysis of the text, we see that all opinions we get from the other characters are written by the governess herself, for example when Mrs Grose says 'May I-' the governess interrupts with 'Kiss me?'. There is no evidence to suggest that this is what Mrs. Grose was really going to say. The fact that all opinions of the characters are articulated from the governess makes her an unreliable narrator, as she could be incorrectly portraying the characters and their views.

It is important also to recognise there are different types of unreliable narrators- such as 'fallible' and 'untrustworthy'. A fallible narrator is when the narrator believes she is telling us the truth, but is not due to incapabilities such as telling the story years after, or believing something to be true which is in fact not. However an untrustowrthy narrator purposefully misleads the reader, so the governess claiming Flora saw Miss Jessel is a way to justify her aggressive outburst towards her.

An argument I delved into during my studies of detective fiction in university was to place the governess as an untrustworthy narrator due to being a suspect in the murder of Miles- and the purpose of her manuscript to be one that feigns insanity in order to excuse herself for the murder.

Lydia S. GCSE English Literature tutor, A Level English Literature tu...

11 months ago

Answered by Lydia, an A Level English Literature tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

84 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£20 /hr

Kimberley T.

Degree: English literature (Bachelors) - Cardiff University

Subjects offered:English Literature, Religious Studies

English Literature
Religious Studies

“English literature student, song-writer and pianist, proud bookworm and chocolate fanatic!”

MyTutor guarantee

£20 /hr

Jean S.

Degree: English (Bachelors) - Nottingham University

Subjects offered:English Literature, Maths+ 2 more

English Literature
Maths
English Language

“I am passionate about education and hope to become a secondary school teacher in later life. I love working with children and feel that I am skilled in building up good working relationships with both students and parents. I do this b...”

MyTutor guarantee

Abigail S. IB English tutor, GCSE English tutor, A Level English tuto...
£20 /hr

Abigail S.

Degree: English Literature (Masters) - Exeter University

Subjects offered:English Literature, English Language+ 1 more

English Literature
English Language

“About Me: I am currently studying my MA in English Literature. I have a BA Hons in English Studies, and have an A* A Level in English Literature/Language. As you can probably tell, I love studying English. More particularly, I have fou...”

About the author

Lydia S.

Currently unavailable: until 12/01/2016

Degree: English Literature and Philosophy (Bachelors) - Newcastle University

Subjects offered:English Literature, Psychology+ 1 more

English Literature
Psychology
Philosophy and Ethics

“About Me.Hello! My name's Lydia and I study English Literature and Philosophy at Newcastle University and would love to help you with anything you need- be it specific books I have studied or essay preperation!Trained Essay Advisor....”

You may also like...

Posts by Lydia

Can you explain the narrative techniques in The Turn of the Screw?

Can you explain the narrative techniques in The Turn of The Screw?

How do I remember quotes from articles in my exam?

How does Candy's dog and his fate foreshadow other events?

Other A Level English Literature questions

How do I write a good essay?

What do I need to do to write an A* essay?

How do I write an introduction?

Can you explain the narrative techniques in The Turn of the Screw?

View A Level English Literature tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok