The Turn of the Screw


Insanity and innocent kids:
The turn of the screw by Henry James is a mysterious and daunting novella. It is different from the stereotypical ghost stories of screams and growls. The story reveals everything in a subtle manner. In other words, everything has been indicated but nothing has been explicitly told. The story ends way before the reader/viewer expects it to end. I took a moment to realize that it was the last scene just because it said “The End”. The answer to the question about who the doer is remains controversial.
According to me the children, Flora and Miles were partly possessed by the spirits of Miss Jessel and Quaint respectively. Although one could argue the governess Miss Kittens, a novice was given too much responsibility and authority which made her vulnerable to all kinds to nightmares and visions. I believe Miss Kittens was relatively correct because the last few scenes strongly imply the occurrence of dual personality in both kids. The plot keeps giving some hints towards the fixing of the kids by the spirits. For instance, Flora asked Miss Kittens if she would ever go to the heaven or just walk in the corridors at night. Also Miles recites strange poem about rising from the grave. Finally in the end, the kids react abnormally and speak impolite words. The common aspect of all the incidents was that the children were too young and innocent for these ideas/words. This strengthened my assertion of the involvement of spirits and of Miss Kitten’s genuine concern for the kids.

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