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 Turn of the Screw Study Guide (Choose to Continue)

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Turn of the Screw:Novel Summary: Section 20

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Summary of Section XX

 

Just then, the governess sees Miss Jessel across the pond and grabs Mrs. Grose's arm to show her—there! Mrs. Grose sees nothing and scolds the governess for scaring them, trying to soothe Flora. Meanwhile, Flora has looked reproachfully at the governess and told her she has never seen anything and thinks she is cruel. She asks Mrs. Grose to take her away from the governess. The governess knows she has lost Flora to Miss Jessel, and she begins weeping, full of grief. When she comes back home, Miles sits in her room with her in silence, as if to comfort her.

 

Commentary on Section XX

 

This scene is damning to the governess but does not diminish her certainty, for the ghost of Miss Jessel remains on the scene all while the other characters are talking and denying they see her. Miles comes to sit with the governess afterward in her room, and one can only suppose he feels sorry she has gone over the edge, or else that he wants company.




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