Summary of Section IX
The governess admits that now it is hard to do her duties with her suspicions about the children. She is struggling against the conclusions she has drawn and hopes the children have not noticed her strange views of them. She thinks of them as blameless for their situation but “foredoomed” (p. 38), and this gives her more courage to take risks on their behalf. Even though she is wary, the children still have the power to charm her. At this time she feels they are “preternaturally fond” of her (p. 38), always trying to please her, while she is constantly trying to get to the bottom of their motives. She feels that Miles is under some influence, but though constantly in their company, she can prove nothing. She finds it strange that Miles and Flora always agree and are so close.
Now she finds that she has to turn the narrative once more to a time after which there was nothing but pure suffering. At night, she becomes aware of something, takes her candle and goes out to the stairs where she meets Quint as a “living detestable dangerous presence” (p. 41) and they stare for a long time until he disappears as she watches him. She is exalted because she can meet him without fear.
Commentary on Section IX
There is suspense as we are not told how things become worse after this. On the contrary, she seems for the moment to have met and bested the ghost. There is something very convincing in her telling of the incident and the courage she finds in herself.