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INNOCENCE

There is something eerie about how fully the governess is entranced by Miles' beauty and aura of purity ­
its almost as if her has indoctrinated her into thinking that he's better than the rest of the world. Miles' air
of innocence…

Page 2

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governess is the true symbol of evil as she is the one who acts aggressive and forceful with the children
whilst the ghosts make no move to harm them, they simply observe.

In the final chapter the governess states that Miles belongs to…

Page 3

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horrifying and evil traits but she is unaware of it ­ this is the first point where we begin to see some evil
exuding her.

The governess states that Quint is wearing somebody else's nice clothes but he is no gentleman himself.
Quint…

Page 4

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BEAUTY

The governess' observations and assumptions about the children are all purely based on their appearance.
Placing emphasis on being "carried away" by Flora's "radiant image" and angelic nature, "Raphael's holy
infants", only makes her later alleged deception even more disturbing.

The governess…

Page 5

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However, when the governess labels the children as "frauds" we see for the first time that she is
questioning the system of "judging a book by its cover", which was a popular concept in the 19th century.
She is inferring that there is…

Page 6

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REPRESSION

Sexual hysteria was seen as a psychosexual disorder affecting well-bred, intelligent women due to the
conflict between natural sexual desires and the repression of Victorian social ideals.

The brief contact with her employer is enough of a reward for the isolated life…

Page 7

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Miles becomes more "exceptional" to the governess than Flora, who descends into "ugliness". Perhaps
this is because she is starting to see him in a sexual way and therefore she is prone to adding magnificence
to his every word and action. She also…

Page 8

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The fact that Quint, a servant, appears as a ghost demonstrates the governess' Victorian attitudes towards
servants ­they are less than human. The governess' attitude towards the servants is physically manifested
in the ghosts; they are "creatures" that don't belong in this world.…

Page 9

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POWER

The grandeur of the house intimidates the governess but she still feels proud to belong there ­ she has a
lot of power by being there. She admits in retrospect that she would not be impressed if she saw toured
the house…

Page 10

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Moreover, there are class dynamics at play; when Mrs. Grose overpowers her by claiming it's a
"joke" we are aware that now the governess is even lower in the ranks than Mrs. Grose ­ she has lost so
much power and authority that…

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