3/23: “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James (Part III)

In “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James, the governess adores Miles and Flora when she first meets them. She then quickly becomes suspicious of their every word and action, convinced that they hope to deceive her. She frequently switches back to being absolutely sure of their pure innocence and sometimes shows a huge amount of affection towards them. Because of the governess’s actions and views on the children, it made me unsure of the children’s innocence. I believe that if we were able to hear the same story from Miles’s and Flora’s perspective, it may be different. The times the governess thinks that the children are evil and interacting with ghosts, it is mostly likely all up in her head. At first I believed that the children are normal. They were obedient and acted like perfect children from the beginning until the governess started seeing ghosts which coincidently affected the children’s behavior. From reading from the text, it can be gathered that children started drifting away from the governess such as they would start keeping things from her and keep secrets from any adults they encountered. They would randomly run out of the house or refuse to follow anything the governess would order them to do. So from looking at this, it is difficult to see if they are good or bad children. They started off good but ended up being strange once the governess started seeing the ghosts. I don’t think they are in league with the ghosts but it is probably because of the ghosts, there was a drastic change in the children’s behavior or it could probably just be all up in the governess’s head. I guess we will never know!

When I hear of Miles and Flora, I think of the children from the horror film, “Mama”. It is about how two young girls abandoned in a forest cabin is fostered by an unknown entity that they fondly call “Mama”, which eventually follows them to their new home after their uncle retrieves them. The children come out very innocent from the beginning, not aware of what’s going on. Once they were taken in by their uncle and his girlfriend, their “Mama” followed them to continue care for them in their new environment. This put strange behaviors in the children which made the uncle’s girlfriend very suspicious of the children. She would see appearances of a shadowy, monstrous figure in their doorway meeting with the children. This caused her to have her suspicions and doubts on the innocence of the children. This movie similarly reflects to novel “The Turn of Screw” with the children appearing innocent at first but then acting strange once accompanied by the ghosts.

Mama (2013)

Mama (2013)

mama-movie_ending

Mama and one of the children.

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2 thoughts on “3/23: “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James (Part III)

  1. Wow, I wasn’t aware of this film, but it sounds like a lot was inspired by “Turn of the Screw’…

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  2. Although quite corny, with extremely poor acting, Mama is a great example which directly relates to The Turn of the Screw. The governess faces a burden trying to determine whether the kids are playing tricks purposefully or truly at the service of the ghosts.

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