Mrs. Grose, playing cleverly on the governess' visions, convinces her she is seeing
Peter Quint and Ms. Jessel in an effort to drive her mad. At least, that is according to Eric
Solomon's 'The Return of the Screw.' Mrs. Grose tries to remove the governess to get
Mrs. Grose will do anything to gain control of Flora, as she proved when she
murdered Peter Quint. He, along with Ms. Jessel, was too much of an influence on the
children. Quint died somewhat mysteriously, on a path between town and Bly. He died
from a blow on the head, supposedly from falling upon a rock in the road. The reader's
only impression of the death is through Mrs. Grose's story, though, and so, Solomon
hypothesizes, she filters the information to make it seem less extraordinary a demise.
Perhaps Mrs. Grose killed him out of jealously. The reader can infer from this point of
view that Mrs.
Grose somehow also had a hand in Ms. Jessel's death.
Mrs. Grose then proceeds, after the murders, to twist the new governess' visions
of ghosts into visions of Quint and Jessel. Solomon does not address the issue of whether
or not what the governess sees is actually there. His explanation is logical either way. If
the governess sees real ghosts, or if she is imagining it all, does not matter. What matters
is that Mrs. Grose tailors Quint and Jessel to the governess' descriptions. She listens to
the descriptions and tells the governess' she is seeing Quint and Jessel.
Mrs. Grose does not herself create the visions that the governess sees, instead, she
bends them to her purpose. The governess' visions of ghosts are twisted by Mrs. Grose.
When the governess reports seeing a ghost, Mrs. Grose seizes...