The Turn of the Screw
This novel was, surprisingly, interesting. The intensely complex and intricate (if not confusing!) sentences, upon first thought, made me expect an experience of complete, utter, and total confusion; however, they served not only to keep my interest in the novel – for I had to concentrate to grasp the full, rich meaning of his thoughts – but also to create in me a sense of enjoyment, that of being enriched with the experiences of the main character so that my life and that character's became inseparable, only it occurred not only with the main character, but with the entire plot at once – all characters, all scenes (to which I shall come late), all conversations... everything. I have never seen a man so able to express so much in one sentence, and still be able to have the reader follow his thoughts throughout the entire process.
Henry James was a master of expression and grammar. His ability to form a complex, yet coherent sentence did nothing but add to the quality of the novel.
The characters alone added to the quality of the novel. It is not so much as they were entirely believable, but they were believable to the extent of their being in a ghost story. The things that happened to these poor characters were not natural in any sense, but they were completely acceptable from within a ghost story. Miles, for example, was too beautiful in action, too simple in thought, and too tempting in appearance (for both the governess and Mr. Quint) to be considered real; however, he is not too extreme in any of those respects to not have the capacity for existing within a reader's mind. The same is true of Flora. Her childish innocence and elderly cunning create an ambiguous character that is capable of existing. (Is that not an ambiguity of its’ own?) As far as completely realistic and believable characters – those capable of existing outside the mind and conception of readers – can be examined, a list of them would be short in the superlative. The governess would be the most sane and...