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MonkeyNotes-The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
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Chapter 12

Summary

Once again the governess tries to convince Mrs. Grose about the evil influence on the children. She relates to her that Miles had not only justified his action but also conveyed that he was capable of such attitude. She concludes that the school authorities could have taken objection to the boy for such insolent behavior. Mrs. Grose is still unable to believe that the children are bad and is only concerned about their welfare and security. She shares the anxiety of the governess that, the children might be under the shadow of the ghosts. She is worried about the safety of the children and requests the governess to seek the help of the master of the house. She wants him to come and shelter the children against the evil. However, the governess refuses to write to her employer as she had promised to keep him out of the affairs at Bly. She is also afraid to tarnish her reputation in front of him by telling him that she is unable to manage the situation. Hence, she asks Mrs. Grose not to inform her master.


Notes

The governess presents herself as an assertive woman who tries to force her views on the meek housekeeper. After observing Miles and talking to him in the recent past, she comes to the conclusion that he has been dismissed from school because of his bad behavior. She also surmises that the children were under the evil influence of Quint and Jessel and are now in secret communion with their ghosts. She tries to convince Mrs. Grose about the sanctity of her views. In contrast to the suspicious and opinionated governess, the housekeeper is simple and trusting. She has faith in the goodness of the children and believes in their innocence. When the governess expresses concern about the welfare of the children, she is the one who suggests that they should take the help of the master to protect them. She is sensible and practical, unlike the governess, who is bothered about her image and prestige.

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