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Theme of Evil in The Turn of the Screw

b. This theme of evil as manifested in children is expressed most subtly in the scene in which the governess and Miles discuss "the others" and the promise that Miles makes to tell the governess his secrets (95-103). Another scene illustrating this confluence of evil forces is found on page 50, when the governess grabs Flora and considers confronting her about what is happening but chooses not to. In both of these scenes, the fear of evil is what paralyzes the governess, keeps her from taking the action necessary to protect the children, and perhaps even leads to her own complicity in the evil through her secretive relationships with the children. She seems to believe that if she doesn't confront the evil goings-on in the house directly, in order to spare the children and/or herself some added horror, the evil will not be as real as it otherwise would be. However, by taking the indirect path she does, she seems to encourage the evil, allow it to root in the children, and even to communicate indirectly to the children that some sort of game is going on, rather than a struggle of good and evil, life and death. In these two scenes, the governess gives the children the impression that they have a power---through their relationship with the ghosts---which gives them some control over her. Flora tell


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