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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
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Turn of the Screw!