Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews October 8, 2023
October 1, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
*See discount terms and conditions.
Although the governess adores Miles and Flora when she
first meets them, she quickly becomes suspicious of their every
word and action, convinced that they hope to deceive her. She is
fickle, however, and frequently switches back to being absolutely
sure of their pure innocence. At these times, her affection for
the children can be intense. She embraces them often and with passion,
going so far as to kiss Miles. The ambiguity of the text allows
these displays of affection to appear both harmless and inappropriate.
Her volatile relationship with the children renders her an unreliable
narrator and a dubious source of information. According to Douglas,
the governess’s confidant and admirer, she is “the most agreeable
person” he has ever known “in her position.” However, he says also
that she was “in love,” as though this is an excuse for her behavior,
which he admits is questionable. Mrs. Grose’s increasing skepticism
casts doubt on the governess’s visions and fears and suggests that
the governess may indeed be losing her mind.
The governess, with her overabundant concern for the children
and her violent suspicions of them, may be regarded as either a
heroine or a villain. On one hand, she seems to be an ambitious
young woman who unwittingly places herself in a position in which
she is forced to struggle heroically to protect her charges from
supernatural forces. On the other hand, she seems to be a sheltered,
inexperienced young woman whose crush on her employer and nervous
exhaustion at being in charge of two strange children result in
an elaborate and ultimately dangerous fabrication or hallucination.
James provides only the governess’s side of the story, which may
be inaccurate in whole or in part. In any case, the governess’s
account is by no means the full account, which we never learn.
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Turn of the Screw!