In this essay, the presentation of the supernatural world will discuss how it defines events that cannot be explained by nature or science and how it concerns with didactic messages. In light of this view, an introduction of the supernatural world is perceived as a means of teaching the audience moral instructions that occur in the novels. The authors use elements of the supernatural to illustrate teachings that educate the reader, in both novels, there is a depiction of the relationship between adult and child to teach the
In The Turn of The Screw, James uses the supernatural world to draw attention to the dealings of a Victorian governess, this ghostly theme shows a greater message in the lives of a governess and how lonely and taunting it can be. The reader is aware that strange events start to occur in Bly as the governess begins to see the house as a place of magic and secrets but in a darker sense once she sees ghosts of the past workers at Bly.
On the other hand, some critics have identified the novel as one of that being psychological as Smith suggests that her seeing of the ghosts may be real or not because ‘we are all vulnerable to being haunted by our own kind of ghost. The physical presence of the ghost in the story is but a representative figure for our own psychological haunts’ (Smith, 2011) It can be argued that Morrison illustrate how the ‘physical embodiment of psychological trauma’ (Selfridge, 2018) defines the representation of unaccounted slaves and how they coped with the horrific events that the endured during slavery. In particular, Morrison depicts the life of Margaret Garner, who in turn killed her children just like Sethe, to keep them out of slavery. Although this is a ghost story, the indication of historical fiction presents didactic messages to inform the reader of the horrors of slavery. What both authors support, is that the genre of writing provides didactic messages that may be the teaching of how the pain and suffering behind the significant protagonists are shown to educate the readers.
The exploration of the supernatural world in the novels are presented through relationships between adult and children which the authors exaggerate the children’s innocence. At the time of Beloved’s death, she was innocent, Christian beliefs suggest that babies are born without sin as they are pure, brand new to the world dependent on their parents. The emphasises on Beloved’s innocence shows how she did nothing wrong but live in a timeline where freedom was not an option as Sethe’s intention to kill her children was only to protect them. Despite the difference between the texts’ context, their emphasis on the innocence of children is arguably similar to which James manages to build up more suspense by making the children unrealistically well behaved. With ‘a gentleness that was only their fault’ (Chapter 4, page 22) the governess becomes obsessed with Flora and Miles when she becomes dazzled by their beauty which suggests how blinded she is by the two; unable to see anything wrong with them. Corresponding to this obsession, Morrison even highlights Sethe’s use of possessive pronouns as a method of claiming Beloved as she believes Beloved is her daughter risen from the dead, James also achieves this through repetition of the possessive pronouns to suggest that the governess is overly protective and obsessed with the children.
Moral ambiguity is achieved through the novels as the supernatural world conflicts with decisions made by characters which therefore shape the entire course of the plot leaving readers curious for more. The governess’ fondness of the children – in particular, Miles – calls to question the ambiguity of their relationship. Jacobs analyses how ambiguity employs the imagination as ‘the young boy whose descriptions range from suspiciously charming to vaguely sensual’ (Jacobs). Not only does she “moan of joy, drew him close and held him to my breast” (Chapter 24, page 24), the governess also becomes overly close with Miles as ‘my face was close to his, and let me kiss him, simply taking it with indulgent good humour.’ (Chapter 17, page 69) The enhanced proximity