The governess becomes more paranoid and unreasonable the more she believes that the children know about the apparitions. After finding Flora and seeing Miss Jessel across the lake, the governess exclaims to Flora, “there, there, there, and you see her as well as you see me!” (120). Flora later says, “I don’t know what you mean. I see nobody. I see nothing” (122). Still, the governess believes that the children know about the ghosts. Later, the governess tells Mrs. Grose, “They know [about the ghosts]—it’s too monstrous: they know, they know!” (51). The governess, without evidence, wholly believes that the children are lying to her, and her paranoia increases the more she believes.
... middle of paper ...
...intentionally pay no attention to Miss Jessel, who can be seen across the lake by the governess. Therefore, it is likely that the apparitions are a figment of the governess’s imagination. If the ghost was close and visible, Mrs. Grose should have seen it.
Is Turn of the Screw a ghost story? There is no conclusive evidence to say that the story has real ghosts, and reasonable evidence to suggest that there are other explanations. The ghosts are not real. Rather, they are a made up part of the governess’s mind. Nobody sees what the governess claims to see. Even in ideal times to do so, Mrs. Grose sees nothing, and the children have plausible excuses. The governess still believes fully. However, she is interpreting the reality of the situation wrongly, and pressuring the children to confess to seeing something that they never saw. Turn of the Screw is not a ghost story.
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