Plot[ edit ] Recently orphaned, Flora and Miles are abandoned by their new guardian Harry Andrews and entrusted to the care of housekeeper Mrs. With only these three adults for company, the children live an isolated life in the sprawling country manor estate.
The more I go over it, the more I see in it, and the more I see in it, the more I fear.
A governess is hired to look after the nephew and niece of a man who has inherited the responsibility for the children after the death of their parents. He is very explicit in his instructions to the governess that he is not to be bothered with excessive communications.
The governess is young and pretty and wants to impress her new employer by doing exactly what he wishes. She wants to be seen as competent, and in a sense this need to please proves to be a vulnerability that, as she tries to shield and protect, she actually puts everyone at more risk.
Risk of what you might ask? That becomes the unknown element of the story. What nature of evil are we dealing with? The children are ethereally beautiful. The governess is compromised immediately by preconceived notions, that we all have to a certain extent, that beauty equates to goodness.
It was inconceivable to her that he was capable of anything remotely improper. As the governess begins to try to understand her young charges, she also begins to discover that there are swirling questions about what has happened to other people who have been associated with the children in the past.
She cross examines the housekeeper and more carefully the children, ferreting out bits and pieces of information that leave a murky picture in her mind. The reluctance which everyone shows in speaking about the past makes the governess more and more suspicious that something potentially perplexing lies in the truth.
She starts to see dead people. What I had then had an ugly glimpse of was that my eyes might be sealed just while theirs were most opened.
It becomes a game of ignoring these phantoms in the hopes that the children would not become aware of the existence of these ghosts, of Quint, the butler, and Miss Jessel, the ex-governess.
Both of these people were obsessed with the children when they were alive. The question becomes what do they want with the children now? Henry James weaves in these awkward interactions between the governess and Miles. There are moments when the young lad seems to be attempting to seduce his governess.
The governess is not totally immune to the charm of the handsome boy.
But I gave myself up to it; it was an antidote to any pain, and I had more pains than one. There is certainly a desperation to how she attempts to protect the children, fully determined to keep the situation under control without having to contact her employer.
We watch her naivety crumble as she is battered by the strange and distant attitudes of the children and the extraordinary circumstances of the spine-chilling past intruding on the present.
I was firmly on the side of believing the governess was losing a firm grasp on her sanity, but then James throws a wrinkle into my firm resolve when Miles makes this statement to the governess that they should not miss his sister and the housekeeper after they have fled the circumstances: Of course we have the others.
This is a short story, but it is a short story by Henry James. He has some of the same convoluted, difficult sentences that show up in his novels. They may bewilder on a first read, but after another go they start to make more sense. This tale left me jangled and apprehensive as if an apparition were still strumming their fingers along the length of my sciatic nerve.
If you read it on the most basic level as a ghost story, you will certainly find it unsatisfying.Other essays and articles in the Literature Archives related to this topic include: Nathaniel Hawthorne: An Overview of the Author and Thematic Analysis of Works • Full Summary and Analysis of “The Minister’s Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne • Analysis and Plot Summary of “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne • Full Plot Summary and Analysis of “The Birthmark” by.
The Ivory Tower is an unfinished novel by Henry James, posthumously published in The novel is a brooding story of Gilded Age America.
It centers on the riches earned by a pair of dying millionaires and ex-partners, Abel Gaw and Frank Betterman, and their . James Michener as a child. (Virginia Trumbull) As an infant, James A. Michener was adopted by a widow in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. He was born in New York City in , but over the course of a long life, he was never able to learn who his birth parents were.
A novella written by Henry James, 'The Turn of the Screw' is a ghost story or is it? This lesson will summarize the plot of 'The Turn of the . The Turn of the Screw The Portrait of a Lady What Maisie Knew The Wings of the Dove Daisy Miller The Ambassadors Washington Square: Relatives: Henry James Sr.
(father), William James (brother), Alice James (sister) Signature: Henry . See also Civil Engineers Return to Index Page Personal name index. Adamson, John Beherns Born Educated in Carlisle. Apprenticed to NBR at age