In the Turn of the Screw, James creates this world through the governess’s view, a world separate from the reality around her. I thought readers had the task of interpreting for themselves whether what she was experiencing was real or not. Then as I reflected on Baudrillard’s simulacrum theory, I realized that it was neither real nor false, it depended on how I as a reader perceived it.
An example of Baudrillard’s simulacrum in society, one of many, is the essentials people consider needed in order to survive. During the time before all of the states were formed, before computers, phones, microwaves and any other electronics were invented, the Native Americans were still living in peace. Their methods of survival required hunting, filtering water, building strong shelters….everything different from what people today think is required for survival. The goal was simply not to starve, freeze and dehydrate…not to die. Without cell phones, the internet, a new pair of cloths every few months (despite the person’s current pants fitting just fine), special beverages and foods, people would be devastated. People today “could not live without them” as I’ve heard many times. “My cell is a part of me, I can’t leave home without it.” It has been proven many years ago by aboriginals that these items and methods are not essential for survival, yet people (including myself) need them as a part of their everyday function. I know I could survive without them, but because of my culture being adapted to these, I am too. If I want to take this class, I need an internet.
A link to an interesting video of Jean Baudrillard below. Man, this guy was brilliant!