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Excellent Observations and Questions

Here are the names of the people who got "+'s" on their reading responses for Week IV, along with excerpts from people's observations and a list of the "top 10+" questions asked. (Note: when listing the questions, I'll always copy the wording from the first time the question was asked and put the author's name first in the list of names in parentheses after the question, so that everyone who asked a roughly similar question gets some recognition, but the first person who asked it gets more.)

Week IV: James and Oates

Honor Roll: Sarah Boyle, Andrea Caccese, Celeste Creel, Jim DeGolyer, Adam Di Palma, Noelle Dull, Jeff Green, Megan Hulbert, Holli Neal, Theresa O'Hern, Tom Priester, Jake Proper, Kelly Rosemellia, and Shana Sek.

Excerpts


Top 10+ Questions

1. Why did James leave so much out of his tale? I know that he wanted us to use our own input but many readers like to have a firm idea of what is happening in a story. (Jake Proper, Jessica Sandeen, Jim DeGolyer) Is James allowing too much freedom to his readers? (William Smith) If this book was published initially chapter by chapter, was it meant to be thrown together into book form? Or should/could/would the book be adjusted so it might be a little more reader friendly? (Ryan Barone)

2. How and why does James use ghosts in his story? (Tom Priester) Do you think that the ghosts in the story were really as bad as the governess made them out to be or do you think that she was just obsessed and delirious? (Jeffrey Ciminesi) My last question concerns the nature of the ghosts? Are they malevolent, and how do they compare to other ghosts we have seen in this class? These ghosts seem much less obvious... (Russ Leo)

3. What is this so-called "evil" that is mentioned throughout the story? (Kelly Rosemellia) Why, as the forces of good in the governess triumph over the evil lurking behind the window, does Miles die? (Jeff Green) Why did Mrs. Grose and Doulas think the ghosts were installing evil into the children? (Theresa O'Hern) Why is the childrens governess ( or nanny ) unable to speak to the children when she knew that they knew of her predicament? "...I do mean... that the element of the unnamed and untouched became, between us, greater than any other...It was as if moments, we were perpetually coming into sight of subjects before which we must stop short..." (Celeste Creel)

4. Why are the social classifications so important to the text? (Tom Priester) What is the connection between sex and children? (Salim Miller)

5. What are the ghosts trying to accomplish by appearing to both the children and the governess? Wouldn't that defeat the point (whatever that may be)? (Holli Neal) Do you think that the ghosts (Quint and Miss Jessel) mentally controlled Miles and Flora in someway, or maybe even completely? And if so, how did this control come about, and why did they feel as if they had to conrol Miles and Flora? (Jamie Coniglio, Jeffrey Ciminesi) In the after life, why did Jessel and Quint come back to haunt Flora and Miles? Even though it some way it seems that they are trying to protect them, then why for example does Flora have to be sent away because she is disturbed? (Alex Herrera, Heather Giambrone, Liza Infantino, I'Lema Codrington, Noelle Dull, Shana Sek) What is the significance of the ghosts reappearing to the children? I know that Miss thinks they are evil and want to do evil to the children. Is this the reason? (Bryant Loomis, Amy Keister, Adam Di Palma) Do you think the children are the main motivation for the ghost's appearance? What else could be a reason for the ghost's appearence? (Sarah McNaughton) Why does Miss Jessel seemed to be connected with Flora and Quint with Miles [in The Turn of the Screw]? (Rob Lefferts) [In Oates's "Accursed Inhabitants of the House of Bly,"] Flora seemed to see Miss Jessel's ghost and Miles saw Quint. What role do the ghosts play in terms of the children? Is there a connection? (Stephanie Armstrong, Chris Metot)

6. Why are there multiple narrators? What is the point? (Amy Keister, Liza Infantino, Heather Koski) Why was Douglas so willing to share such a "dreadful" story? Why was such a big deal made of the fact that a ghost appeared to children? Why does James go out of his way to make this distinction? (Jesse Reiter, Leslie Strandburg)

7. Why does the governess suddenly get flashes of insight as to why the ghost is looking for the children and that it is in fact the children that the ghost is seeking. This leads me to ask what connection there is between the ghost and the governess? (Sarah Boyle) Why was the governess so against the ghost if the ghosts didn't do anything? (Noelle Dull) What do you think of the governess? What's her deal? (Tom Priester, Amy Keister)

8. Does anyone think maybe that the uncle knew about the ghosts and he didn't want to deal with them anymore? Maybe that's why he left instructions to not contact him. (Jason Golubski, Jessica Sandeen) Why did the uncle not want to be contacted no matter what? Did he not care at all about the children or did he know something was wrong and he didn't want to face it himself? (Jake Proper) Why didn't the uncle want any news about his niece and nephew? Was it just because of his job? (Stefanie Evans)

9. Do you think that the author, Henry James, used Mrs. Grose as kind of an marking place for the reader? Because it kind of seemed like as she went deeper into the story so did we. (Kristine Cuomo) Why do you suppose that Mrs. Grose has such a hard time telling what she knows of Peter quint and Mrs. Jessel? (Holli Neal, Rob Lefferts, Heather Giambrone, Shana Sek, Kris Krajewski) What role does mrs. gross play in quint's death, does she know more than the narrator is revealing to us? (Sarah McNaughton)

10. What exactly did happen at the end of the story? I think Miles was dead, but are there any other interperatations out there? (Jake Proper, Jamie Coniglio, Nate Cooper, Salim Miller) In James' story, does Miles die? (I am unclear about that.) If so, why doesn't he die in Oates' account? (Cindy Stevens) I'm a little confused, it seems as though new governess overcomes the spirits, how does she do this? (Alex Herrera) At the end of the reading, do you feel as if you understand the action that happened or is it confusing to you? what can you identify as the source of confusion? (Sarah McNaughton)

11. Exactly what made Flora become ill? Was it that she was accused of have relations with the ghost of Miss Jessel? Did Miss Jessel make her sick? Or did some how the presence of the Governess make her sick? (Jason Golubski, Nate Cooper)

12. What do the bullfrogs in the end of [Oates's] story simbolize or represent? (Ryan Destro)

13. Why is it that for some reason [James's] story seems out of date, even though the other examples from class were not neccessarily any more modern? (Russ Leo)

14. I was wondering if anybody else feels that children see a side of ghosts that adults cannot see? (Amy Carlson, Beth Karnyski)

15. What are the advantages of writting a ghost story in the form of a novel rather than a short story? Is one more exciting or effective than the other? (Bill Belscher)


M A I N * N E W S * T O P I C S * L I N K S * R E S E R V E S


EN 209: Novels and Tales, Spring 1999
Created: 2/18/99, 4:01 pm
Last modified: 3/19/99, 5:01 pm