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Tyler Wargo - The Turn of the Screw

Page history last edited by Tyler Wargo 1 year, 2 months ago
Passage
Pg. #
Comments & Questions
"'What does it mean? The child's dismissed his school.' She gave me a look that I remarked at the moment; then, visibly, with a quick blankness, seemed to try to try to take it back. 'But aren't they all-?' 'Sent home-yes. But only for the holidays. Miles may never go back at all.'" 10 Why was miles mysteriously sent home early? Why does Mrs. Grose hold Miles in such a high manner and look displeased when given a simple question that might impede upon his image?
"There was such a flood of good faith in that, though I had not yet seen the child myself, my fears made me jump to the absurdity of the idea. I found myself, to meet my friend the better, offering it, on the spot, sarcastically."
11
I find it a bit strange that the governess, even before meeting Miles, makes an assumption that he's most likely 'troubled' to some extent as Mrs. Grose speaks fairly well of him initially, even though he was sent home from school mysteriously. I can see why, but this also shows how the governess will automatically associate a person with a certain characteristic even before they have enough to go off of to make their own assessment of a person.
"But our young lady never came back, and at the very moment I was expecting her I heard from the master that she was dead."
13
Reflecting on the predecessor of the current governess, Mrs. Grose informs her that she died out of the blue because of an 'illness'. While Grose clearly doesn't like discussing the subject as she gives extremely short responses at complex questions that require in-depth explanations, the governess seemingly is starting to become more and more anxious about her position and forms a sort of superstition around her superiors and friends as a result. Was there more to her death than we were simply told?
"Something, however, happened this time that had not happened before; his stare into my face, through the glass and across the room, was deep and hard as then, but it quitted me for a moment during which I could still watch it, see it fix successively several other things. On the spot there came to me the added shock of a certitude that it was not for me he had come there. He had come for someone else."
20
Once again, the mysterious apparition  appears, but this time the governess believes the intent of it is purely evil. While she's the only one to have seen a ghost so far, I find it strange that she makes the assumption that what she sees - if it's indeed anything at all - is evil. This may be in part to her already apparent uneasiness about the lack of clear details given about past occurrences at the manor.
"She seemed fairly square to herself, plant herself more firmly to utter the wonder of it. 'Yes. Mr. Quint is dead.'"
24
While Mrs. Grose has not seen this ghostly figure personally, she believes it's the former valet of the manor, Peter Quint. While nobody could be certain if this was indeed true, I still find it a bit odd that these characters such as the governess and Mrs. Grose are automatically jumping to conclusions. It's a repetitive theme, but I still feel that these conclusions only add to the superstition given to others in the book.
"At that moment, in the state of my nerves, I absolutely believed she lied; and if I once more closed my eyes it was before the dazzle of the three or four possible ways in which I might take this up."
41
The governess seems to 'know' that Flora is lying to her about communicating and seeing spirits she believes have an ill intent to corrupt the children. I think this is as a result of her interactions with Miles, believing what he's stated before is not truthful because of what's been said of him and the incident that occurred at the school which got him expelled that's still shrouded in mystery. I find it hard to believe that the children are intentionally lying, but the governess did state what she saw, but is what she saw really real, or could she by hysterical from her interactions so far with others?
"What it was most impossible to get rid of was the cruel idea that, whatever I had seen, Miles and Flora saw more - things terrible and unguessable and that sprang from dreadful passages of intercourse in the past."
52
The governess is seemingly becoming more and more hysterical and critical of the children the longer she's around with them. Would this have anything to do with how the former governess passed? She doesn't seem to intentionally want to view the children as evil or in communication with evil spirits, but her hysteria has only seemed to have grown more.
"Finally I went out, taking a candle; I crossed the passage and listened a minute at Miles's door. What, under my endless obsession, I had been impelled to listen for was some betrayal of his not being rest""
61
The hysteria of the governess has grown to such an extent that they're now attempting to spy on the children. She obviously admits her obsession, and seems to do so with good intentions, but if you're an outsider looking in, and you didn't see these spirits such as what she claims to have been seeing, she just looks mad - exactly what she's trying to pin on the children as a result of her belief that they're interacting with bad spirits. 
"You don't see her exactly as we see? - you mean to say you don't now - now? She's as big as a blazing fire! Only look, dearest woman, look-!" 71 The ghost of Miss Jessel appears, but the governess is the only one that appears to be able to view them. Are the others mad, or has she herself completely lost touch with reality and in the creation of the hysteria revolving around the children, has created these spirits in her own head that further drive and fuel her own madness? What's really real, and what's just a play of the mind?
"But he had already jerked straight round, glared again, and seen the quiet day. With the stroke of the loss I was so proud he uttered the cry of a creature hurled over an abyss, and the grasp with which I recovered him might have been that of the catching him in his fall. I caught him, yes, I held him - it may be imagined with what a passion; but at the end of a minute I began to feel what it truly was that I held. We were alone with the quiet day, and his little heart, dispossessed, had stopped." 87 I'm really at a loss for words here. Why did Miles die exactly? Was it because when the governess finally pointed out the supposed ghost of Peter Quint, he was actually able to be seen my Miles this time, and in doing so did he have a heart attack? Was this what happened to the former governess as well? I have so many questions, but if what I believe is true, that means that the apparitions she had been seeing were indeed real, but does that mean the children were really communicating or being fiddled with spirits whom had ill intentions?

 

 

Comments (8)

Annabelle Miller said

at 10:00 am on Aug 5, 2019

In response to your analysis on Pg. 13, I suspect that the master might have had something to do with the deaths of both Peter and Ms. Jessel. I think this might have had something to do with Ms. Gross saying that these people were inappropriate with the children and I think that the master might have had them killed to protect the children.

Sharon Murchie said

at 10:34 am on Aug 7, 2019

Oooh, Annabelle, that's a fun take on it! I never considered the master to be anything other than completely absent, having washed his hands of all responsibility...

Tyler Wargo said

at 10:09 pm on Aug 15, 2019

Oh my goodness now imagining an entire YouTube series of creators attempting to create their own theories of the book. There are so many questions than there are answers and I hate that we're left to assume what really happened!

Sharon Murchie said

at 10:35 am on Aug 7, 2019

Tyler, I love your questions surrounding the sanity of Miss Jessel. At the end of all of it, what do you think? Was she mad/insane?

Tyler Wargo said

at 10:01 pm on Aug 15, 2019

I do believe Ms. Jessel was going mad throughout the story, but of course I can't quite make of the ending. I think it's best to look at the bigger picture though to try and guess how miles may have died. What if he never did? This sounds ridiculous, but who's to say Jessel isn't imagining this story either? The story abruptly ends leaving readers to construct their own interpretations on how he may have died. What if the ending was to make you question if Jessel was seeing the truth throughout the entire story instead of focusing on details that may or not be real? What's reality compared to her sanity? If we cannot trust her own accounts compared to others surrounding her who may or may not be real, how can we trust the major details she exhorts? I'm left with more questions than answers.

Tyler Wargo said

at 10:02 pm on Aug 15, 2019

Miles*

(Sorry, can't edit)

Bailee Buck said

at 11:07 pm on Aug 13, 2019

I agree with your analysis on Pg.71, I think the governess lost touch with reality as well when with the ghosts she had seen. I made it hard for her to determine whats real and not like you said. I think she was drove insane by the ghosts of Ms. Jessel and Peter.

Tyler Wargo said

at 10:04 pm on Aug 15, 2019

I'm still wondering if the main characters of the plot are real either! They may be real to her, but only to her. What if Miles and some of the other characters are also the result of slow decay of her mind?

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