1000 Books In 10 Years; Vol. 95: The Turn Of The Screw, by Henry James

The Turn Of The Screw sets out with the aim of being a thriller, but thrills are nowhere to be found, simply an incompetent governess and a group of bored people who have nothing better to do than to sit around listening to some guy read the papers written by a deluded woman. I’m not sure what James was aiming at with this piece, but considering that there is not one relatable or sympathetic person, and nothing is really offered to entertain, or to make one really think, it seems to fall short. I’m sure, in the context of the Victorian era, there were lessons to be had, perhaps concerning detachment and the interpersonal relationships between the ruling classes and ‘the help’, but other works have made far more interesting commentary on such matters with narratives that actually manage to entertain. That said, I did have to look up a few words for this one.

Interdict: A prohibitive order.

Crenulations: A tiny notch.

Sinecure: A paid job requiring little work.

Abjure: To formally renounce something.

Recapitulate: The repetition of an evolutionary stage in embryo.

Portentous: Pompous, or amazing.

Asseverate: To state something earnestly.

Imperturbable: Consistently calm.

Prevaricate: To escape telling the truth.

Remonstrate: To argue strongly/

Preternaturally: Going beyond nature.

Consternation: Shocked dismay.

Girded: To put a belt around somebody.

Rambler About Rambler

Jason John Horn is a writer and critic who recently completed his Master's in English Literature at the University of Windsor. He has composed a play, a novella and a number of short stories and satirical essays.

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