The Turn of the Screw
The Turn of the Screw: Novel vs. Film Adaptation 12th Grade
Henry James’ 1898 novel The Turn of the Screw is renowned for its ambiguity and its effectiveness as a psychological thriller. As a result, it has been adapted into many films, including one of the same name directed by Tim Fywell in 2009. This adaptation based upon the original text promotes the idea of supernaturalism whilst trivialising the unique storyline, thus making is less engaging to an audience than James' text. Many events, values, and themes present within both forms are articulated in different ways and to varying degrees. These are shown throughout many aspects, including the historical period, characterisation of the children and the ambiguity of the ghosts – all of which contribute to a thrilling and complex story, at least where the 1898 text is concerned.
In the film adaptation, the historical era of The Turn of the Screw was transposed to a period of time twenty years later. This affected the prominence of crucial themes, including sexual repression, within the novel. As depicted by James in Victorian England, the society of the time was extensively repressive for women and condemned the idea of sexual interaction. The statement “It was a pleasure…tranquil and justified…I was giving pleasure…to the person who...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 818 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 6108 literature essays, 1714 sample college application essays, 245 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in