Ghosts Do Not Exist

Ghosts Do Not Exist

GhostsDo Not Exist

In“The Turn of the Screw”, the appearance of ghosts to thegoverness has been depicted at different times. The governess claimsto see the ghosts, but no one else has been in a position toencounter or see the ghosts. This questions the reality of theexistence of the ghosts in the story. In this report, the argumentthat ghosts do not exist in “The Turn of the Screw” will be held.Different supportive arguments will be used to show that the ghostsdid not exist.

Fromthe novella, it is possible to believe that the ghosts did not existbecause the ghosts are only seen by the new governess. The newgoverness describes what she sees as ghosts, but from her descriptionit emerges that she describes former employees of his employer. Whentelling the story of what she saw to Mrs. Grose, it emerges that shewas describing the ghosts of Peter Quint and Miss Jessel. Althoughthere were people who knew well these people (Peter and Jessel), whenthey were working as employees of the Uncle such as Miles, Flora, andGrose, no one ever saw the ghosts of these two employees. In case theghosts were real or they existed, some other individuals could haveencountered or seen the ghosts however, in the novella, no one elseapart from the governess saw the ghosts.

Theghosts do not exist because it is the governess, who forces otherpeople to see the ghosts that she claims to see. This is seen whenthe governess finds Flora on the other side of the lake. She believesthat Miss Jessel was responsible for taking Flora on the other sideof the lake. Upon meeting Flora on the other side of the lake, shequestioned the girl concerning the whereabouts of Miss Jessel.However, the young girl became frightened and screamed “I don’tknow what you mean. I see nobody. I see nothing. I never have. Ithink you’re cruel. I don’t like you” (James 73). Thedeclaration of Flora that she saw nothing as the governess claimed isa pure indication that the ghosts that she was seeing did not exist,and she used to force other people to see them. Apart from forcingFlora to see the ghost she claimed to have seen, the governess alsoforced Miles to see the ghost. When the governess saw Peter Quintthrough the window, she told Miles to say “Peter Quint”. AlthoughMiles did not see the ghost of Peter Quint, he screamed “PeterQuint you devil”. This is a clear indication that no ghostsexisted, but the governess forced other people to see them.

Theseeing of the ghosts by the governess is not real because it can beseen as hallucinations that the governess has. From the novella, itis apparent that the governess has a demanding responsibility oftaking care of the two kids since she has no one to help her oradvice her on the role. This makes her to have fear since she is notsure whether she will be capable of caring for the two kids. It isthis fear of taking care of the kids that makes her to havehallucinations. This is apparent because she fears that the ghostscould harm the kids. The moment she scares Miles with the ghost ofPeter Quint, she blames the ghost for taking the life of Miles. Shesays, “We were alone with the quiet day, and his little heart,dispossessed had stopped” (James 88).

Besides,the ghosts do not exist because they only seem to exist in the mindof the governess because she thinks that they are real. When a personbelieves that what she thinks is real and believes that ghosts exist,it is likely that the mind of the person will be pre-occupied withthe thoughts. Therefore, the ghosts do not exist, but because thegoverness believes that they do, she constantly sees them in herthoughts. In case, she had a clear mind that ghosts do not exist, itcould be impossible to think about them. Nevertheless, because shethinks about them, they exist in her world of thinking but do notexist in real sense.

Ghostsare known to cause extraordinary things and once they attack orpossess someone, they can destroy the lives of the person that theyattack. In the novella, there is nowhere indicated that the ghostsharmed individuals or attacked some people. What is presented in thenovella is justification. For instance, in the novella, when Milesdies in the hands of the governess, she claims that the boy dies as aresult of being possessed by a ghost. However, this is not the casebecause the boy can be indicated to have died as a result of thegoverness scaring her that there was a ghost. Since the boy did notsee the ghost, she became horrified and died because of fear.Therefore, ghosts do not exist in the novella.


James,Henry. TheTurn of the Screw.London: Bibliolis Books, 2010. Print.