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The Turn of the Screw

The Turn of the Screw


by Henry James

Flora Timeline and Summary

  • Flora and Mrs. Grove meet the Governess when she arrives at Bly. She's instantly charmed by the child's good manners and, above all, her physical beauty.
  • Flora gives the Governess a tour of the house.
  • Playing by the lake, Flora may or may not see the figure of Miss Jessel appear – the Governess assumes that she does.
  • The first night that the Governess leaves her room to prowl the halls, she returns and finds Flora gazing out the window; first, Flora turns the blame playfully upon the Governess, asking where she was. When asked, the girl says that she was worried when she awoke and found her roommate gone, and that she had a feeling that someone was outside.
  • Several nights later, the Governess awakens mysteriously and again discovers that Flora is furtively out of bed and looking out the window – this time at Miles, who's on the lawn.
  • Later on, as Miles distracts the Governess in the music room, Flora runs off. Mrs. Grose and the Governess discover her at the lake, where she has hidden the boat that's usually docked there.
  • Flora tries to act as though nothing is wrong initially. However, the Governess can't control herself, and demands to know where Miss Jessel is.
  • Flora freaks out, either because she's understandably frightened by the Governess, or because she's trying to act as though she doesn't know what's going on – as usual, we're not sure which interpretation to believe.
  • Flora has a breakdown, and says that she never saw anyone, and that she just wants to get away from the Governess. Interestingly, at this point the Governess says that Flora loses her incredible beauty, and just seems like a regular petulant child.
  • At home at Bly, Flora makes herself ill with stress, saying that she never wants to see the Governess again.
  • Mrs. Grose and Flora depart for London to see the children's absent uncle.