Chapters 6-10. Grace, Charlotte, Labonno , Rebecca. Summary. The governess sees the female ghost with Flora for the first time Identifies the female ghost as Miss Jessel with Mrs. Grose The governess is informed of Peter Quint and Miss Jessel’s scandalous relationship.
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Grace, Charlotte, Labonno, Rebecca
The governess sees the female ghost with Flora for the first time
Identifies the female ghost as Miss Jessel with Mrs. Grose
The governess is informed of Peter Quint and Miss Jessel’s scandalous relationship.
Decides that the children can see the ghosts and that the kids are corrupted by them.
Then she sees the kids again and cannot imagine that they are deceiving her purposefully.
Finds out about Miles & Quint’s relationship
Period of relative calm & happiness clouded by suspicion
See’s Quint for the third time
Flora is out of bed and at the window
See’s Miss Jessel at the bottom of the steps
Comes back to her room to see Flora at the window again
Looks out another window of the house to see what Flora is looking at and discovers it is Miles.
How reliable is the governess?
In these four chapters, the governess begins to make outlandish assumptions about the children and the ghosts causing the reader to question whether her claims can be taken at face value.
"He was looking for little Miles." A portentous clearness now possessed me. "That's whom he was looking for." "But how do you know?" "I know, I know, I know!" My exaltation grew. "And you know, my dear!" (Chapter VI)
Reliability of governess cont.
Are the children corrupt?
The governess begins to believe that the children can see the ghosts and have been corrupted by their presence, however it is very unclear as to whether their actions are influenced by the ghosts or are just purely innocent.
“I don’t do it!” I sobbed in despair; “I don’t save or shield them! It’s far worse than I dreamed– they ‘re lost!” (Chapter VII)
“The presence on the lawn– I felt sick as I made it out– was poor little Miles himself.”(Chapter X)
Children corrupt? Cont.
“They got their little tasks as if they loved them, and indulged, from the mere exuberance of the gift, in the most un-imposed little miracles of memory. They not only popped out at me as tigers and as Romans, but as Shakespeareans, astronomers, and navigators.” (Chapter IX)
"Oh, but you know," she quite adequately answered, "that you might come back, you dear, and that you have!" (Chapter X)
Does Mrs. Grose believe the governess & how does their relationship begin to change?
The Governess is intimidating Mrs. Grose’s into believing in her perceptions about the ghosts as well as Miles and Flora to the point where Mrs. Grose begins to get frustrated with her constant questioning. It is unclear wether Mrs. Grose truly believes the governess or is just going a long with it.
“Miss Jessel. You don’t believe me?” I pressed.
She turned right and left in her distress. “How can you be sure?”
"You do know, you dear thing," I replied; "only you haven't my dreadful boldness of mind, and you keep back, out of timidity and modesty and delicacy, even the impression that, in the past, when you had, without my aid, to flounder about in silence, most of all made you miserable. But I shall get it out of you yet! (Chapter VIII)
“I don’t wonder you looked queer,” I persisted, “when I mentioned to you the letter from his school!” “I doubt if I looked as queer as you!” she retorted with homely force. “And if he was so bad then as that comes to, how is he such an angel now?” (Chapter VIII)
Is her growing paranoia warranted?
Insane or normal?
“There were moments when, by an irresistible impulse, found myself catching them up and pressing them to my heart. As soon as I had done so I used to say to myself: “What will they think of that? Doesn’t it betray too much?” (Chapter IX)
“I repeatedly sat up till I didn’t know when; I selected moments when my roommate unmistakably slept, and, stealing out, took noiseless turns in the passage and even pushed as far as to where I had last met Quint.” (Chapter X)
“It was a pity that I needed once more to describe the portentous little activity by which she sought to divert my attention--the perceptible increase of movement, the greater intensity of play, the singing, the gabbling of nonsense, and the invitation to romp.” (Chapter VIII)
"No, no—there are depths, depths! The more I go over it, the more I see in it, and the more I see in it, the more I fear. I don't know what I DON'T see—what I DON'T fear!" (Chapter VII)