A Few Screws Loose
The children in The Turn of the Screw are far from the perfect children they seem to be on the outside. In the story, they are always trying to sneak off or something along those lines. Throughout the story, the children get more and more suspicious by sneaking around and wandering away from the house. Towards the end of the story it is impossible to deny the fact that something is different about the way the children act. The children aren’t just that mischievous. However, is this the product of haunting ghosts or an overprotective and insane governess? Over the course of the book there is a constant battle for power between the governess and the ghosts of Miss Jessel and Peter Quint, and this is what creates the suspiciousness and mischievousness of the children.
The first sign of mischief by the children is seen towards the beginning of the story when Miles is expelled from school. The governess receives a letter from the headmaster saying he cannot return to school. There is no reason why, and the reader never ends up finding out. This is the first part in the story when it is clear that something is going on. It makes it seem like there is something bigger going on besides just the rambunctiousness of Miles.
Throughout the story, Miles and Flora act more and more suspicious and mischievous. From wandering around the grounds in the middle of the night, to almost admitting that the ghosts are real, the children are acting suspicious, as if the ghosts might be controlling them. In chapter 17 while the governess and Miles are talking, a chilly wind comes in and the candle goes out while Miles shrieks. This is strange because it is not normal behavior for Miles, implying that the ghost of Quint may have taken control of him in that moment.
The closest we get to answering this question comes in chapter 23. The chapter starts with a strange dialogue between the governess and Miles, when they are by themselves. The governess first denies...
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