“Blameless and Foredoomed”: Innocence and Haste in The Turn of the Screw

  • Kevin Ohi


To Ellis Hanson, Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw makes clear that

the occult possibility of demonic possession, a paradox of innocence and licentiousness in the same character, serves as a fine allegory for the erotic enigma that is the modern child. James was the first writer to put the eroticized child at the center of the gothic novel, a convention that had previously relied on, to put it simply, perverse men who make pacts with the devil and nubile women with only the vaguest conception of the floor plans of large, dark, and creaky houses.1


Murderous Effect Childhood Innocence Remembered Event Narrative Sequence Modern Child 
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© Kevin Ohi 2005

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  • Kevin Ohi

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