The Turn of the Screw
The Turn of the Screw
by Henry James
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The Turn of the Screw Chapter 10 Summary

  • Shaken (but not too stirred – ha!), the Governess returns to the room she shares with Flora. There, she finds something that does fill her with terror – the girl is missing!
  • This mystery is quickly resolved, however; Flora emerges from behind the curtains and immediately demands to know where the Governess has been. Taken aback, the Governess struggles to explain herself.
  • Flora immediately explains her absence from bed, saying that she knew the Governess was gone, and that she thought someone was walking around outside. However, she denies seeing anyone.
  • The Governess is convinced that Flora is lying, and for a moment is seized with the desire to confront the girl. Instead, she simply asks why Flora made her bed look as though she was still there. The little girl, unperturbed, responds that she didn't want to scare the Governess in case she returned.
  • This answer is far from satisfactory to the Governess, and from this point on, she's vigilant both night and day. She even gets up in the dead of night sometimes to walk the hallways, but she never encounters Quint in the house again.
  • However, the Governess does encounter another spectral visitor; she sees Miss Jessel sitting woefully on the staircase, but the woman disappears before she can confront her.
  • On the eleventh night after Quint's appearance, another alarming incident happens. The Governess wakes up inexplicably in the night, and notices that that the candle she left burning has gone out – she immediately knows that Flora blew it out.
  • The child has left her bed, and the Governess finds her once again at the window. The Governess is sure that Flora is in communication with the ghost of Miss Jessel, and she creeps out to find another window to see what the girl is looking at.
  • Walking down the hallway, the Governess is struck with the temptation to go and confront Miles in his room – instead, she goes and eavesdrops at his door. It's totally silent.
  • The Governess moves on past Miles's door, and enters another room to look out at the lawn. She sees a figure out there, looking up above her at the tower – she assumes that someone else is up there.
  • The figure on the lawn, however, isn't Miss Jessel – it's Miles!

Next Page: Chapter 11
Previous Page: Chapter 9

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