The Turn of the Screw

Henry James
Characters

Mrs. Grose

Characters Mrs. Grose

An illiterate servant at Bly, Mrs. Grose provides the governess with open ears and loyal support. Although the governess thinks her simple minded and slow witted, Mrs. Grose knows more of the story than the governess fathoms and is as capable of piecing things together as is the governess, though slower to leap to dire conclusions. Although Mrs. Grose is the source for most of the governess’s information, the governess does not take her words at face value or ask Mrs. Grose for her opinions. Instead, the governess uses Mrs. Grose as a “receptacle of lurid things.” The governess frequently attempts to seize moments alone with Mrs. Grose so that she can try out her latest speculations. Mrs. Grose is usually skeptical of these speculations, but the governess takes Mrs. Grose’s incredulity for astonished belief. Like the reader, Mrs. Grose is willing to hear the governess out but doesn’t necessarily agree with her logic or conclusions.