Il giro di vite (Italian Edition)

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There are two ways to read The Turn of the Screw. The novella is clever enough to give each theory enough evidence. As soon as readers may think they deal with ghosts, there is immediately something in the narrative which somewhat contradicts that, perhaps pointing to active imagination or mistaken perception.

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This ambiguity is what makes the story so fascinating, with only subtle hints left behind as to the real danger. If the narrator is to be believed how else would she know detailed physical descriptions of previous dead servants? The beauty and innocence of the children are contrasted with the dark and disturbing behaviour of the ghosts visiting them. But, even here there is this lack of clarity. Who really desires to corrupt? The ghosts — the children; the governess — the children; or maybe even the children try to corrupt the governess?

The novella can really be read as evil coming from different directions.


There are many clues in the story that we are dealing with an unreliable narrator, who is impressionable and easily excitable. Clearly, that could be some proof of her losing her grip on reality. The governess of Miles and Flora also becomes completely infatuated with them.

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It is also telling and slightly ironic that, although both Mrs Grose and the governess narrator refuse to believe the hard fact that Miles was expelled from school, they do succumb to a paranormal belief that there are spirits in the house. The governess is so obsessed with, and enraptured by, the children and everything they do that she may have imbued them with some divine characteristics, abilities and secrets.

She also may want to be part of their secrets and pact.

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Thus, she may see ghosts because of her desire to be part of the mysterious games the children apparently play, rather than other way around. The governess seems to rejoice in the fact that there is this unusual connection shared between her, and Flora and Miles. The narrative is so persuasive that we begin to believe this theory, even in spite of the fact that the narrator admits herself later that there is little proof that Miles and Flora can see ghosts, and that it would distress her if she ever loses her power to see ghosts [Ed. The affair between Quint and Miss Jessel was doomed, and our narrator may hint in this way on her own doomed and unstarted affair with the master of the house.

Her own loss of what is real may be due to her sexual repression. The most revealing passage in support of this theory is that when the governess is walking alone, she has the desire that her employer meets her on her way and sees how well she is doing. The governess also feels her inadequacy to cater for such intelligent children.

She previously thought Miles was happy with her at Bly since he never mentioned his old school. Similarly, Flora may have been sensing something strange in her governess and attempted to run away probably, even afraid of her. Even other servants started to perceive the governess differently, while the governess starts to feel that any future will hurt her darlings [Ed. Then comes the climax of the story. The secrets here are out and the game is up.

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The separation between her and the boy becomes the reality, and, perhaps, to maintain her grip on the house and on Miles, the nanny resorts to the only action she thinks available to her — unimaginable horror. All this is related in a rather obscure form with another ghostly encounter, and the whole situation may be read in other ways. Henry James indirectly implies and leaves the readers to draw their own conclusions. Because of the language used, long and complex sentences, and the indeterminate conclusion, The Turn of the Screw is not as instantly satisfying as may be desired, and its reading may be rather daunting.

However, those who delight in reading between the lines will find the novella engrossing and atmospheric.


It could challenge with its ambiguity, and Henry James must be given credit for the subtle way he deals with evil and true horror in his book. By not pinpointing or describing the meaning of horror, he makes the story take an even darker turn, and the line between the mind and the body, between the inside and the outside, between the spiritual and the earthy, and between the imagined and real, becomes blurred.

View 1 comment. Jan 09, Sheri rated it liked it Shelves: classic-literature , horror-scary-creepy , reviewed. The Turn of the Screw is a haunting and creepy novella published in about a female caretaker of two orphaned children in the country home of the children's uncle. The caretaker believes that the house and grounds are haunted. Other people employed at the residence are not sharing the same experiences as the nanny and so it could be that there really is something evil hovering around the country estate or the entire scenario is playing out only in the mind of the nanny.

It is up to the reade The Turn of the Screw is a haunting and creepy novella published in about a female caretaker of two orphaned children in the country home of the children's uncle. It is up to the reader to the decide the truth. Is the nanny sane? Is this a true haunting? The unreliable narrator of the story makes it a difficult decision.

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Is the ending of this tragic story supernaturally solved or is it criminal? Dec 09, Lobstergirl rated it really liked it Recommends it for: bandolier designers.

Shelves: fiction , own. If only it had been sooner.

Because of -" "Yes. It prevented. He hung fire. They hung. What of it? It thought it. Why, oh -" one of them gasped, no one was sure which one. Feb 27, Roy Lotz rated it really liked it Shelves: novels-novellas-short-stories. For the second time, I have had the misfortune of choosing to reading Henry James alongside another difficult author. The first time it was Proust; this time, Joyce. So, instead of getting the desired relief from literary headache, I get an extension of it. This makes reading his work a peculiarly cerebral experience.

Maddening, frustrating, and exasperating as he writing-style is, I am always impressed by the end of it. James has mastered the art of using the structure of language to mirror the structure of his plots. As the protagonist tries and fails to guess at a mystery, the sentences try and fail to reach their objects—like a snake coiling around itself. Annoying as this sometimes is to read, I am so amazed by the end that I can give James nothing but kudos. The Turn of the Screw is famous for its use of ambiguity.

Is the governess crazy? Or are there really ghosts?

Il giro di vite/The Turn of the Screw - Henry James

Or do the ghosts make her crazy? Or does her craziness somehow reify the ghosts?