Henry James (1843–1916)

58 Study Questions, Activities, and Resources

Study Questions and Activities

  1. List some of the character names you think are symbolic or at least significant because of the connotations/associations of their names.
  2. What do you think of the children’s uncle? What does the governess think of him?
  3. Why do you think Miles was expelled from his school?
  4. Did Miles survive to adulthood and become Douglas?
  5. What images relating to Peter Quint might be interpreted symbolically or clinically in a Freudian way?
  6. Are the children liars?
  7. When Flora is seen at the lake, are her playthings symbolic?
  8. Does anyone else beside the governess ever admit to seeing the ghosts?
  9. What is gained by having the governess relate the story?
  10. What are some of the novels the governess alludes to, and what do they have in common?
  11. When Miles shouts, “Peter Quint—you devil!”, to whom is he speaking?
  12. Describe the circumstances surrounding each appearance of an apparition.


Short Essay Topic (750-1000 words)

C.G. Jung theorizes that “neuroses are the results of the person’s failure to confront and to accept some archetypal component of the unconscious. Instead of assimilating this unconscious element to their consciousness, neurotic individuals persist in projecting it upon some other person…” (Guerin, et al. A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature, 3rd ed., p. 169). Discuss characterization within a framework of Jung’s triad of shadow, persona, and anima.


Appendix 1: Turn of the Screw Mini Casebook. See the three suggested “controlled research topics” in the mini-casebook on Turn of the Screw in Appendices.


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English Literature: Victorians and Moderns Copyright © 2014 by James Sexton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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