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MonkeyNotes-The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
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Chapter 5

Summary

Looking at the face of the governess on the window, Mrs. Grose looks perplexed but goes out to meet her. She inquires about the governessí strange behavior and looks astonished when the governess explains the matter to her. The governess further tells Mrs. Grose that, she has seen the man not once but twice and that she is afraid that he is looking for the children. Thus, in order to safeguard the house against the intruder, she decides to stay back in the house instead of accompanying Mrs. Grose to the church. When the housekeeper asks her to describe the man, the lady portrays him as a red - haired, red whiskered, lean but handsome man, wearing the clothes of a gentleman. The housekeeper turns pale and identifies the man to be Peter Quint, the former valet of the master. She also tells the governess that in the past he had stolen the masterís clothes, and that is probably the reason why he was looking like a gentleman. When the governess inquires about his present situation, Mrs. Grose informs her that he is dead.


Notes

This chapter is revelatory as it gives information about the figure at the window. The mystery of the stranger is solved in this chapter, as the housekeeper reveals his identity. All the while, the governess had kept guessing about the presence of the man on the tower and the window. She had believed that he had appeared to frighten her and the children. She had thus felt protective towards the children and decided to stay back at home to nab the culprit if he happened to come again. When she confides in Mrs. Grose, the housekeeper identifies the man as Peter Quint. However, when the elderly lady reveals that the man is dead, the governess is shocked. Now she has to deal not with a living man but a ghost!

The suspense drama turns into a horror tale. From now on the governess has to tackle an invisible force. Why does the ghost of Peter Quint haunt the house at Bly? What does he really want? The readers are as much anxious about the outcome as the governess is.

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