Homework Help

What is the significance of the title The Turn of the Screw?

user profile pic

lanamichelle | College Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted July 6, 2010 at 2:14 AM via web

dislike 1 like

What is the significance of the title The Turn of the Screw?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

sensei918 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted July 6, 2010 at 4:26 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 3 like

The title "The Turn of the Screw is a metaphor for what happens to the governess n the story.  Consider that the purpose of a screw is to tighten something and hold it into place. If you turn it too tightly, either it will break, or what it is attached to will break.  Then look at this from the perspective of how it applies to the governess in the story.  Her curiosity about the children and the fate of their previous teachers is what sets  the screw into place. The more she finds out, the more she wants to know, so, by then, she is held in place through that same curiosity.  Then she decides that she must save the children from the evil she perceives around them.  This further tightens her into place, and as she continues to have experiences that seem to her to be more and more horrifying, the screw is finally too tight, and she breaks. Unfortunately, she has set into motion a tightening of the screws for the children as well, and they cannot survive the stress that comes about as a consequence of her first curious meddling.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes