There be dragons!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Henry James' "Turn of the Screw"

Two good articles on Henry James' ghost story can be got
Here by Edward J. Parkinson
">Here by Thomas J. Bontley

So, do you think the governess is crazy?

What if she is Miss Jessel? That is, consider the account stops after the death of Miles – but if the account is of a woman already mad couldn’t’ the events themselves be disordered chronologically?
Isn’t there evidence of hanky-panky with the master and Miss Jessel? Certes btwn Quint and Jessel – but then Quint seems to be compared to the master (he wears the master’s clothes)
Wouldn’t hanky-panky btwn a rich bachelor and a young, poor, na├»ve governess be a scenario possible in Edwardian England? Wouldn’t it lead to scandal ruining her and not him?
Doesn’t Jessel get compared to the governess (if nothing else, she was the prior governess)?
Mrs. Grose’s comment early on that the master DID like governesses that were young and pretty
The master’s summary dismissal of the governess with the injunction never to contact him seems odd unless there was a love situation
Miles and Flora are boy and girl, parallel to Quint and Jessel, also parallel to the governess and the master
Miles and Flora seem to be innocence threatened, Quint and Jessel seem to be corruption irredeemable, master and governess seem to be in between

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