"She isn't there, little lady, and nobody's there—and you never see nothing, my sweet! How can poor Miss Jessel—when poor Miss Jessel's dead and buried? We know, don't we, love?—and she appealed, blundering in, to the child. "It's all a mere mistake and a worry and a joke—and we'll go home as fast as we can!" Our companion, on this, had responded with a strange, quick primness of propriety, and they were again, with Mrs. Grose on her feet, united, as it were, in pained opposition to me. Flora continued to fix me with her small mask of reprobation, and even at that minute I prayed God to forgive me for seeming to see that, as she stood there holding tight to our friend's dress, her incomparable childish beauty had suddenly failed, had quite vanished. I've said it already—she was literally, she was hideously, hard; she had turned common and almost ugly. "I don't know what you mean. I see nobody. I see nothing. I never have. I think you're cruel. I don't like you!"
Then, after this deliverance, which might have been that of a vulgarly pert little girl in the street, she hugged Mrs. Grose more closely and buried in her skirts the dreadful little face. In this position she produced an almost furious wail. "Take me away, take me away—oh, take me away from her"(James 71).
This scene happens when the governess and Mrs. Grose find Flora and the governess and Flora have a conference there. The governess is determined that Miss Jessel is on the opposite of the river, but Mrs. Grose, the companion of the governess claims there is nothing there, she strongly believes Miss Jessel is dead. Flora shows strong fears towards the governess and says a lot of sharp words—her changes are first displayed clearly.
We can see that Mrs. Grose claims that there is no one on the opposite of the river again and again—she says,” She isn't there, little lady, and nobody's there—and you never see nothing.” It seems that Mrs. Grose is consoling Flora, actually, the repetition also shows her panic; she is trying to console herself. We definitely don’t know if Mrs. Grose see the ghost or not, but her words obviously shows that in Mrs. Grose’s heart, she is also confused, frightened, she is not that sure about herself and what she sees. The rhetorical question” We know, don't we, love?” and the words like
“go home as fast as we can” shows her nervousness and discomposure as well. When we read this passage, we may be confused about Mrs. Grose’s attitude: is she really the governess’s companion? Does she believe in the governess? The portrayal of Mrs. Grose raises the readers’ interests and queries.
Also, the words, which are used to describe Flora, are needs analyzing, for instance, “small mask of reprobation”,” beauty had suddenly failed”, “had quite vanished”, “ hideously”, “hard”,” dreadful little face”,” furious wail “and her bitter words towards the governess, all show that Flora is not that like a normal eight-year-old girl, she changes to a mature woman and becomes good at hiding her own true aspect, like another Miss Jessel; it’s terrible that an eight-year-old girl says such bitter words to her governess, her childish innocent face with such Miss Jessel’s corrupt soul seem to be supernatural, but whatever, Flora’s changes lead the readers to the deeper layer of the story, and make the story more complicated and mysterious.