WEEKLY WONDER: The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde (#30)

Hey everyone!

Welcome to Weekly Wonder, a weekly series in which we bring the gems of literature to your TBRs.

This week’s Wonder is:

1543

THE CANTERVILLE GHOST BY OSCAR WILDE


SO, WHAT IS UP WITH THE STORY?

When the rationalist, American Otis family moves to Canterville Chase, they are warned of its ghostly inhabitant but Mr. Otis, unperturbed chooses to “take the furniture and the ghost at a valuation.” But when the Sir Simon’s ghost turns out to be real, how will they deal with the situation? I promise you cannot answer that question accurately without reading the book.


 

A GLIMPSE BETWEEN THE PAGES

“Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.”

“Love is stronger than death is.”

“He made me see what Life is, and what Death signifies, and why Love is stronger than both.”

“We (Britain) have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language.”

“Oh, I hate the cheap severity of abstract ethics!”

“But there is no such thing, sir, as a ghost, and I guess the laws of Nature are not going to be suspended for the British aristocracy.”


 

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT IT

  • This book is a study in contrast; between life and death, comedy and tragedy, humour and terror, the American and the English way of life, the future and the past, love and anger (those are just a few).
  • Despite being a ghost story, humour is a major element and makes the story enjoyable and offsets the horror and tragedy.
  • Though short, The Canterville Ghost has a comprehensive plot with multiple conflicts, sub-plots and a satisfying ending.
  • This story gives the reader a HEAVY dose of irony.
  • Wilde reverses what his reader would predict to the point that the reader begins predicting the opposite of what they would otherwise.
  • In fact, the first prediction Wilde dissipates is that this story would be just another ghost story with the uniqueness of this tale.
  • The only aspect in which this story is similar to a traditional ghost story is that theme of forgiveness is explored using ghosts.

 

I hope you enjoy this beautiful, albeit short, story!

Have you read it already? What did you think of it? Please use spoiler tags when appropriate.

Do you plan to read it? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Reading!

Jeannie

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