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MonkeyNotes-The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
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Flora

The little niece of the master of the house at Bly and the sister of Miles, she reveals little about herself in the novel. This is because she always remains in the shadow of her brother and plays a passive role. The readers get to hear about her mostly from the governess or the housekeeper. Hardly, does she ever voice her thoughts aloud! She is a presence more than a character in the novel.

The governess describes her as a charming and adorable child, angelic in her looks and exquisite in her manner. Thus, as soon as the lady casts her eyes on the child, her beauty and ethereal presence impress her. The little girl seems to crave for company and hence, when the governess arrives at Bly, she welcomes her heartily. She is happy to have found a friend, philosopher and guide and volunteers to take her teacher around the house in order to get her acquainted with it. Like a fairy, she leads her godmother through the dark passages of a castle, that is, their house.

Flora is a lonely child, living in her world of dreams and deriving pleasure out of her own company. Thus, one often sees her playing all by herself. Even, when she is in the company of others, she listens more than talking. She is very fond of her brother and does whatever he asks her to do. She therefore has complete faith in those she loves. It is a pity that such a lovely child is orphaned at a tender age and left in the company of servants.


Flora is as intelligent and talented as her brother, but being the younger of the two, she is less imposing than he is. She is devoted to the governess and acts according to the dictates of the lady. However, when the governess accuses her of lying and forces her to talk about Jessel, Flora turns against her teacher. Like all children, she clings to those she loves but runs away from those who scare her. Towards the end of the novel, when the governess turns bitter, Flora seeks comfort from the motherly housekeeper. It is difficult to believe that such a lovable, young girl could be possessed of the devil. She dreads meeting the governess and even asks her to go away from Bly.

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MonkeyNotes-The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
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