The Turn of the Screw

Henry James

An 18th century’s version of the Sixth Sense? Might very well be, as one of the kids easily could have said “I behold departed souls.” An isolated mansion known as Bly, of which is not very much clear, forms the background of this ghost story. The story is told by the point of view of a governess, who has been hired to take care of the two children from the master, who has directed her not to bother him under any circumstances. Miles is the youngest, expelled from his school due to unclear circumstances and Flora, the oldest child are both living in Bly.

A perfect picture one might guess, but when the governess starts to see the ghosts of a man and woman and later discovers that the children see them as well, adds a supernatural layer that blurs the line between the known and the unknown. The governess’s growing obsession with protecting the children from these spirits raises unsettling questions about her own mental state. Therefore, it is as much as a psychological novel as much as a ghost story.

This story evoked a sense of unease, and left me much room for interpretation. Written in 1898, this story was for me as compelling as it was more than a century ago. I can imagine why this is considered as a classic.

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