39–As Far As The Screw Can Turn


Mother, knitter, spinner, writer, wife, weaver, host...not necessarily in that order...

7 Responses

  1. Aiglet says:


    I know I’m way behind the times, but I just found the podcast and am really enjoying it.

    I’m leaving my comment here because it’s a _Turn of the Screw_ comment.

    What if the “ghosts” aren’t really ghosts at all? What if they’re still alive and the housekeeper is just saying they’re dead so she doesn’t have to explain things to Flora? That would explain both the kids’ and the governess’ behavior, although the housekeeper’s persistent refusal to “see” them does do some damage to my theory…

  2. Becky in Canal Winchester, Ohio says:

    Thanks for validating that thought about dualism. I helped a prof in college with a publication about dualism, specifically in MacBeth. Masculine and feminine with Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Good and evil, alive and dead, guilty, not guilty – all of that. “Screw your courage to the sticking point.” fits here quite well, don’t you think?

  3. Heather says:

    Hey Becky!

    I didn’t catch the duality at all, but you’re dead on! And actually your email is a great lead-in to Tale of Two… can I read it? Or would you like to Odeo it to me (there’s a button on the show notes now).
    The suspicion of posession…I think I read in someone else’s email…did I? Now I can’t remember…is definitely a thing I’ve found NOW in other literary criticism.
    Next book record some Odeo and send it in!
    ; )
    Yay You!

  4. Becky says:

    Heather, I really enjoyed The Turn of the Screw and your discussions about it.

    I know I’m way late in commenting about the book, but I kept thinking, what about dualism in The Turn of the Screw? That seemed to be such a clear theme, but you never mentioned it. The blurring of good and evil, the polarity of thought about good and evil, darkness and light, youth and age. The idea that a screw can turn either way, and that a screw is a perfect image for something that is not clearly in or out, closed or open, but instead spiraling. Henry James is playing with all of those concepts and intentionally challenging them by choosing an image that is clearly not dual.

    And I kept thinking that the explanation for Miles’ speech patterns in that scene where he’s calling the governess “My dear” is that he is literally possessed (as in The Exorcist possessed) by what’s-his-name, the old servant who died. It seemed to me that every other sentence he uttered in that scene was from the other guy. That’s why it’s so unnerving, to have this lecherous old guy speaking longingly and searchingly to the governess through little Miles’ mouth. And that would explain why, when they tried to remove the spirit from Miles, by confronting it, Miles died, because his body had been inhabited by the spirit of that other man – so much so that his body could not live without that spirit any more.

    Does any of that make sense to you?


    Becky in Canal Winchester, Ohio

  5. Tracey, in MI says:

    Well, you warned us the ending was abrupt. But WOW. The end.

    Great book, looking forward to more- 😉

  6. Kate says:

    For some reason, iTunes is refusing to update my CraftLit. I am eagerly awaiting the next installment and all iTunes will give me is empty air. Any suggestions?

  7. michele says:

    love the podcast, it i have been listening to your first few and there seems to be a problem with the links to shows four and five.

    Thanks for a great show