The novella is short by nature and the chilling tale makes for a quick read. But though the page count is thin, James' writing is rich. Some of the key questions to consider when reading The Turn of the Screw include:
- Are the ghosts real?
- How reliable is the governess as a narrator?
- What is the nature of the children's corruption by Quint and Miss Jessel?
- Do they maintain any innocence?
- themes of innocence and experience
- battle of good vs. evil, with a morally ambiguous moderator in between
- no moral absolutes, James' texts offers an "unstable ethical field"
- the novella is "full of emptiness", literally and metaphorically, which invites a theatrical version to fill in gaps
This and more, next Saturday, January 16th, at the Sequoya Library meeting room, 2 p.m.