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MonkeyNotes-The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
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A few days later, the governess takes Flora towards the lake. As the little girl is engrossed in playing on the sand, the governess observes the figure of a lady in black on the other side of the lake. Though Flora does not look in that direction, the governess presumes that the girl had seen the figure. Returning home, she relates her experience to Mrs. Grose. She becomes aware that the figure had been that of Miss. Jesselís. During the course of the conversation, she also comes to know that the former governess had an affair with Peter Quint during her stay at Bly and had died mysteriously after resigning from her job and leaving the place.

The governess starts believing that the ghosts of Quint and Jessel were appearing to corrupt the children. However, the children do not express any knowledge of the spirits. They behave normally and thus, baffle her with their innocence. A few nights later, the governess again meets the ghosts of Peter Quint and Jessel at the foot of the steps. They disappear soon after, but confuse the governess about their appearance and intention. The lady is all the more puzzled, as neither the housekeeper nor the children seem to be aware of it.

Days pass without consequence. However, on the eleventh night after her encounter with the ghosts of Peter Quint, she catches Flora looking out of the window at midnight. She sneaks outside in order to reach another room under the tower. When she enters one and looks out of the window, she is shocked to see Miles standing alone on the ground outside and looking up at the tower. When questioned, Miles reveals that he had played a joke on her and made her believe that he was bad. The governess feels disturbed. She suspects the children to be in communion with the ghosts.


Months pass and autumn arrives. The children behave admirably giving her no cause for concern. They show no trace of the evil influence of the ghosts and are obedient and friendly. Sometimes they ask about her family and about meeting their uncle. The governess talks about herself but shows no desire to fix a meeting with their uncle.

One Sunday, as they are walking towards the church, Miles expresses a desire to go back to school. The governess feels awkward about revealing the decision of the Principal of his school. So, she tries to stall the conversation. When Miles notices her helplessness, he asks her to seek the help of his uncle to get him readmission in school. Unable to tackle the situation, she returns back to the house, alone, with the intention of packing her bags and running away. However, when she enters the school-room to collect her things, she notices the figure of Miss. Jessel sitting on the desk. The ghost disappears soon but the governess resolves to stay back at Bly. The governess meets Miles on the same night, in order to inquire about his behavior at school, but the boy avoids the question. The meeting ends when Miles puts out the light and scares the governess with a loud shriek.

The next morning, the governess writes a letter to her employer but keeps it in her pocket to post it later. In the mean time she does lessons with the children and is surprised at their involvement in study. They do their work sincerely and give her no cause for complaint. In the evening, Miles plays the piano beautifully and the governess is absolutely mesmerized. She suddenly becomes aware of the fact that Flora is missing from the scene. Finding her no where in the house, she decides to go out in search of her. Before going out, she leaves her letter on the table, so that Luke can post it later.

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