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Jalhan
02-07-2015, 06:39 PM
I have to read The Turn of the Screw for English 102 and reading literature for class always is a bit of a drag, but I am actually rather excited to get into this book.

My Professor introduced it as a ghost story, and it really sparked some curiosity to me. I've been thinking about attempting to write a horror story, but really had no clue where to start, and I think this may give me the direction and push that I need.

I've only read the prologue and I really like the writing style employed. When I started the first paragraph I found it very difficult to read, but when I actually sat down and payed attention to the story I found an easier time reading it.
On a whim I decided to read it allowed to myself and found that I was reading in a more dramatic voice than my usual reading allowed tone. Once I got into it the stream of conscious style was surprisingly easy to read. It captured emotion well and felt like a casual rendition, it felt very much like someone speaking the story allowed vs. the simple 'telling' style employed in most books.

So far I am rather intrigued by the book and can't wait to get into it.

YesNo
02-08-2015, 11:14 AM
I remember reading the story as well long ago. It does sound like something worth rereading. When I don't understand something I do something similar to what you have done by reading it aloud: I try to hear the language in my head by slowing down.

Jalhan
02-12-2015, 10:29 PM
I remember reading the story as well long ago. It does sound like something worth rereading. When I don't understand something I do something similar to what you have done by reading it aloud: I try to hear the language in my head by slowing down.
Yes, reading allowed helps as it forces you to focus on the words. It's really working for me so far.

Writing that little thing about the prologue helped my understanding of the books, so I'm going to do that for the rest of the chapters (I know I'm going to have to write a report over this, so why not.)

The next assigned reading chapters were 1-3.

Chapter 1:
I really like the bright descriptive language that was used. The long chains of descriptive and vivid wording fit in well with the stream of consciousness narrative style.
It gives the sense that the story is moving forward while at the same time not dropping the fact that this is a recollection.
I think this is what makes a stream of consciousness narrative. The string of quickly given details that lead either lead up to our follow the point of the sentence

I’m rather curious about what the character of Mrs. Grose and what role she will play in the rest of the story. In her interaction she seems to be a very simple and kind person, but the descriptions given by the governess of her contradict this slightly. I have a feeling that she will be playing an important part in the story later on.
Flora, the child, was also introduced. I felt like her description lacked a little. There was very much given to how wonderful she was and strings of adjectives were dedicated to her, but she is still very flat to the reader. She had yet to show any personality in the narrative, as we have only been given a rather limited view to her.

“What I felt the next day was, I suppose, nothing that could be fairly called a reaction from the cheer of my arrival; it was probably at the most only a slight oppression produced by fuller measure of the scale, as I walked round them, gazed up at them, took them in, of my new circumstances.”

“I had the view of a castle of romance inhabited by a rosy sprite, such a place as would somehow, fro diversion of the young idea, take all color out of the storybooks, and fairytales.” pg 9


Chapter 2:
It comes in to when she receives a letter from Mile’s school saying he was expelled. It’s interesting how Mrs. Grose basically refuses to believe that Miles could have ever done anything. She is absolutely convinced that he was an angel.
It doesn’t say what he did or directly what the letter said. The story leaves us hanging and I have a feeling that this is going to happen a lot.

I don’t understand the conversation on page 11 at all.
“I take what you said to me at noon as a declaration that you’ve never known him to be bad.”
She threw back her head; she had clearly, by this time, and very honestly, adopted and attitude. “Oh, never known him--I don’t pretend that!”
I was upset again. “Then you have known him----?”
“Yes indeed, miss, thank God!”
On reflection I accepted this. “You mean that a boy who never is----?”
“Is no boy for me!”
I held her tighter. “You like them with the spirit to be naughty?” Then

I wonder what Mrs. Grose’s age is. She comes off as difficult to talk to. She’s over agreeable in a way like she would sooner give praises then ever try to say something bad. Her speech at sometimes sounds informed and at other times flighting and unfocused.

I’m really disliking this theme here of holding back on information. There are large gaps where there is no communication, and that is a theme that many times comes back to bite people.
In this I can recognize that it is baiting the reader. Giving the narrative impressions of mystery.

Chapter 3:
We finally get to meet Miles and like Flora he gets a large paragraph that is a string of adjectives that describes how wonderful, amazing, and eternal he is without really telling much about him.

The governess does nothing about the fact that he was expelled from school, willing to just wait it out. But I imagine though, that he should be going back to a school. If I were in her position I would be putting my mind to it.

She talks a lot about herself going on about how great this is. How both the children and the circumstance has charmed her. Of course this serenity is a good lead up for something strange to happen.

The writing style many times tiptoes around the point. It’s like it refuses to ever state anything directly. First it has to assure us of the character’s state of mind, exactly how the thought is presented to us, and all the little particulars that go with it before we can get to the point. The exact opposite of ‘less is more.’

Finally we get our first sight of the ghost! Interesting how it happens just as she’s fantasising about randomly running into a gentleman in the garden.
Could that man that Mrs. Grose was referring to as liking them young and pretty be this man she sees on the bailments? Hmm, I wonder.
It wasn’t particularly spooky or anything, maybe at the most a little unsettling. The spooky part was the description of his movements and the real unsettling part was that some random dude was in the house with her.
If I was in her position I would want to have the house searched.

YesNo
02-13-2015, 12:02 PM
I just finished reading those three chapters. What you described seems to be complete. Regarding the conversation about the boy being naughty, I think she is just expecting a male child to act out more than a female child.

Personally, I don't like the style of the writing. The idea of "purple prose" comes to mind. There are way too many adjectives and too many confusing phrases for my taste. I also don't think this is "stream of consciousness" because there is a definite story being told in an orderly fashion. To illustrate my objections, here is the first sentence from the last paragraph of chapter 3:


The great question, or one of these, is, afterwards, I know, with regard to certain matters, the question of how long they have lasted.

There has got to be a simpler way to phrase the "great question". "How long has this been going on?" might be one way to put it.

I do like the dialog between Mrs. Grose and the narrator. I view Mrs. Grose as someone older and different from the narrator and the previous governess who died mysteriously. I see her as someone who knows more than she is saying, but she isn't really sure what is going on.

In any case, the library or internet may have something interesting regarding this story. I haven't checked. I am no expert. Perhaps my comment will get others who know more about this story to offer their insights.