Rashidul
Rashidul asked:

I don't quite understood the following sentences. "If the child gives the effect another turn of the screw, what do you say to two children---? "We say, of course," somebody explained, "that they give two turns!" can somebody briefly explain? thanks.

To answer questions about The Turn of the Screw, please sign up.
Nemo So basically what he's saying is, If you think having a child involved in a scary situation makes it creepier, how about two children? He's using "giving a turn of the screw" as an expression to mean "making it more intense". The guests answering "they give two turns" is them agreeing that it would indeed double the effect.
Boy Blue Turn of the screw literally means a tightening, just like when you tighten the screws on your IKEA furniture every 6 months as advised (I know you don't!). Figuratively turn of the screw means adding suspense or drama; in this phrase it means by adding children to a horror/ghost story you can create even more drama and suspense. By having an 'innocent' child in the story it adds another perspective and another layer of meaning and suspense. This is borne out by all the horror movies these days having children that are often the first to sense a supernatural presence and they often innocently interact with it to start with (The Sixth Sense, The Conjuring etc). It's creepy that children may be able to see a world adults can't, that they may know more than adults, or more than they are letting on. Certainly The Turn of the Screw does that. As for two turns of the screw, the logic goes if one child adds more suspense then two children must give twice as much. Each layer of intrigue and suspense represented by each turn of the screw.
Rochelle think of the tightening of the screw and tension....the more you turn it, the more tension you create. Eventually, the wood will break because it can't handle the tension anymore.

The governess's tension (downward spiral) finally gives way and breaks... which is in the form of a psychotic breakdown.
Clay Olmstead I took it to refer to a thumbscrew, like the medieval torture device.
Abdallah Al-Humaidat أصدقائي أريد شخصا ان يساعدني في امتحاني لماده الروايه وهي the turn of the screw ارجو الرد حالا.
Cynda I had to look up the idiom online. Basically, it means what Rashidul K said.
Image for The Turn of the Screw
Rate this book
Clear rating

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more