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Dialogue is Action

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Miles

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MangoMan
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@abuzz I think there is a lot to Miles' story that is really swept under the rug and left to the reader to interpret such as this topic.  I want opinions on this, could this be the case for Miles or do you think a story like this one isn't like theory and left up to perspective like other pieces we have looked at?


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a2m0e0m2
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I feel like we were left with so much question on miles. Some things were answered but not with enough information or background that we were hoping for. Miles in my opinion is the most interesting character of the story, and we are able to see the most character growth from him within the time that the governess knows him. He definitely had a lot more going on than the story let us know, and simply he had so much more depth than just a child that the governess was taking care of. 


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a2m0e0m2
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Going off of my last post, It leaves me to wonder what the story would be like in his perspective. Or even, what would a follow up story be like all relating to the information we did not learn in this story. I feel like it would be so much more deep if we could get into everyones thoughts at this manor. Imagine knowing the inner thoughts of mrs. grose... that could definitely change and opinion or two that I already have right now. More minor character development and storylines throughout this book could have elevated the story in such a good way, and I wish it was a real thing. 


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TheBoulder
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@a2m0n2 I agree, he had a lot more going on than the story explained. After all, he was ten by the time of this story, but never talked to the governess about anything that had happened before he returned to the manor. In terms of both Flora and Miles, they suffered a lot of trauma but didn't express it. I mean, they both lost their parents, never saw their uncle, and lost Quint and Jessel who, while who knows what the relationship with them was like, meant a lot to them. The main thing that I wonder is why did they never express it?


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TheBoulder
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@a2m0n2 Yes, having any other perspective would have changed the entire story! Every character had such a different perspective. I don't know if I agree that it would have made the story better though. If we knew what Miles had been thinking, the story would be much less thought provoking. I think it would still be entertaining, but it wouldn't leave me, at least, still thinking about it for so long.


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Miles' actions were  very difficult for me to understand in the book, and it is something I am definitely still grappling with. To me, the interpretation of Miles' behavior that I can most easily understand is that the way Miles is portrayed is heavily skewed by the paranoia of the governess. This is, however, a bit of a cop-out as far as interpretations go, so I wanted to know what other ideas people had as far as why Miles was acting so nice sometimes, but oddly suspicious other times.


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xmysterio
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@xwing37 I think this sense of mystery about Miles ultimately stems from his secretive past. The reader never gets confirmation on the real reasoning behind his expulsion from school. If we had known, maybe there would be more certainty centered around the character of Miles. However, the secretion in his past only further obfuscates the reader's perception of him. This is the complexity of his character and I think that's what makes him so intriguing as an individual.


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xmysterio
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Many people view Miles as a more multidimensional character than the governess. I agree with this, as the governess is set up as the protagonist. Being the protagonist of a story, the reader has almost an inclination to trust this character right away. We are given more certainty about her past, as it is written from her account. I think this makes her less of a mystery, all the more making Miles more intriguing as a character. He is not the protagonist, and his story is filled with gaps. 


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Delphine
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@xmysterio I personally don't like that the governess is set up as the protagonist in the story, because her actions and past point to so many character flaws that influence the rest of the story. I wonder, does anyone consider Miles the antagonist? Who would you consider to be the antagonist of the story overall? Is there really one?


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 Anonymous
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@gil I agree! I feel like we were left with so many questions with Miles. Some things were answered but not with enough information or background that I was hoping for. Miles in my opinion is the most interesting character of the story, and we are able to see the most character growth from him within the time that the governess knows him. He definitely had a lot more going with his life than the story let us know, and simply he had so much more depth than just a child that the governess was taking care of. But, authors often do leave concepts open for interpretation. 


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xmysterio
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@delphine I think that setting up the governess as the protagonist ultimately benefits the story. She is the one seeing these ghosts, and she is the one that's going mad after all. It seems only fitting that the story is centered around the governess as the protagonist, as she would be so difficult to comprehend without it. We would all be wondering what in the world is going on inside her head. Yet with her as the protagonist, we can almost see what might be going on after all. 


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xmysterio
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@delphine and to answer your question, I don't think it's likely for Miles to be the antagonist. The antagonist is most commonly identified as the terrorizer to the protagonists, and I don't think that's what Miles is. Sure, Miles may be destructive for the governess as his involvement with her is only driving her more insane in an effort to protect him. However, her drive to save him in the first place proves that theory to be false. The governess has an affinity for Miles, however odd it may be. Their bond with each other is not that of a protagonist and antagonist, for Miles is too close with her for that in my eyes.


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abuzz
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@xmysterio Going even further, setting the governess up as the protagonist adds to her "hero" status the she so desperately seeks. As we have talked previously about why the governess may have written this account, she seems to be wanting to paint herself as a suitable and praise-able worker. The affect of this being a first person written account as well adds to her ability to pronounce these qualities, therefore giving her a protagonist feel.  


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abuzz
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@xmysterio I also agree that Miles is not a typical antagonist. However, I wouldn't completely rule out the idea. Miles has intentions in the governess's eyes. She always mentions him conversing and plotting with Flora, seeming like he is possibly threatening the governess's job. This is a clear opposition to the governess in her eyes. I do believe though that Miles as a character, not through the governess's perspective, is not an antagonist. I think your description of his destructiveness gives him the name of the antagonist to the governess, for she is writing this due to his death.


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TheBoulder
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@abuzz I could see Miles as the antagonist, in a way. He is who the governess projects her own problems onto. She fears him, distrusts him, thinks he is lying (maybe how she felt about her self and the ghosts). In the end he wasn't the real bad guy, she was. He represented her "inner child" or whatever you want to call it. I think it is quite clever, because remember how Miles wanted to go back to the school? I can see a parallel that she might have wanted to go back to her own safe life before all the ghost stuff happened. Any other thoughts on this?


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