The Turn of the Screw

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Henry James' novel The Turn of the Screw is twofold. In the first chapter, the story begins at a Christmas party where guests hear the governess' tale of fright and fight. This story is referred to as “two turns” of the screw by an anonymous guest at the Christmas party because the reader asks if they want to hear a story about two children instead of only one (3). In the governess' account, it tells about her duty as caretaker of two wealthy children, Flora and Miles, who live at Bly, a large estate, with their unnamed and unseen uncle and Mrs. Groose, the housekeeper. He is never actually seen in the story because he tells the governess not to bother him. As the story first unfolds, the governess takes care of two children, Miles and Flora, both of whom are kind-hearted and are responsible enough to be independent. She loves both of them and respects their independence, but as she thinks of herself as the beacon of hope she decides to take matters into her own hands. When she sees a ghost, which she first mistakes for an intruder, who she believes is the former governess as she writes “Flora was so markedly feverish that an illness was perhaps at hand; she had passed a night of extreme unrest, a night agitated above all by fears that had for their subject not in the least her former but wholly her present governess” (102). Initially, she attempts to dismiss the idea of a ghost, but later she sees yet another figure. Thereafter, she talks to Mrs. Groose whose informs her about Miss Jessel and Peter Quint. In her tale, she describes Peter Quint as the servant and secret lover of Miss Jessel, one of the former owners, and they both are believed to have died in the house simultaneously. The governess takes the duty of protecting ... ... middle of paper ... ...or me because I knew that horrors were superficial but felt at some points real. It like when you get a chill from watching another girl walks down a flight of stairs down to impending jeopardy. The two children, Miles and Flora, are most relative in the story because they deal with living under the guidance of overprotecting and insane governess. Flora is described as charming and intelligent girl who after telling the governess she does not see any ghosts, she distrusts her and betrays her trust. Whereas, Miles is described as a shy 10-year-old that binds his trust in the governess' guidance who thinks that he was being controlled by the ghost of Peter Quint. Both are probably most sane characters of the story because—despite that they see the world through the eyes of children--they act calmly and only feel frighten when they think the governess is seeing things.

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