The Drama of “Canterville Ghost” of Oscar Wilde

Canterville ghost essay example

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde presents us with some humorous look at the Afterworld. The readers take a tour to Britain, to an old castle known as Canterville Chase. The average American family of a skeptical minister Mr. Otis is engaged with the sad story of a local ghost, Mr. Simon.

The Canterville Ghost Book Review

Following the Canterville Ghost short summary, the Christian American family of the above-mentioned minister Mr. Otis finds out that their new home is haunted by a ghost. They are also exposed to a room where there is a blood stain left after Mr. Simon murdered his wife. He did it simply for she was a plain-looking woman who was also bad at cooking. However, they do not fall victims to fear, as they are described to be rather skeptical and uphold people. Mr. Otis does not believe in supernatural powers, mainly ghosts. The twins played lots of pranks and even humiliated Mr. Simon so that he almost experienced a nervous exhaustion.

The ghost can’t bear all the tricks played on him and takes them for insults, which hurts his feelings. Mr. Otis once offered him oil for the shackles and chains as they were too loud. Twins threw things at the ghost and even constructed a fake ghost that scared the real ghost out. Being hurt by Otis family members, the ghost could only find sympathy from Virginia. He befriends her and tells a secret that he was using Virginia’s paints to secretly renew the reappearing blood stain on the floor.

Mr. Simon confesses of his loneliness to Virginia and that he is waiting for death. There is a prophecy, however, that says about the child who will give away her tears so that the peace could come to Canterville. The ghost sets his hopes for Virginia to be this foretold child and pray for his poor soul. She has to go to the place called the Garden of Death and pray. Virginia does agree and spends a lot of time praying.

After she fails to be on time for dinner the family starts searching for her but find not. Virginia is back only by the next morning with a box full of jewels, given to her by a ghost as a sign of gratitude. After that, the family follows her to a dark cavern where the skeleton of Mr. Simon resides and then have a proper funeral.

After many years have passed, Virginia admits that the ghost has shown her the true Love is even stronger than Death.

The Canterville Ghost Chapter Wise Summary

Wrapping up the Canterville Ghost chapter wise summary we can see that Oscar Wilde touches the readers’ hearts with satire and humor. He subtly criticizes The American culture. The depiction of The Canterville Ghost characters gives us many ideas of the cultural difference between British and American cultures. Mr. Otis depicts a typical American man, who thinks of himself as a modern man from a developed country with advanced views and lifestyle.

Opposite to that, British traditional culture is described to have more connections with the legends, history, and superstitions. Such contrast is written in a unique humorous manner. In case of Washington Otis, we can see that his faith in American people and their American products being unfailing doesn’t crumble even in the face of the supernatural.

Characters analysis

Hiram B. Otis – middle-aged American man, working as a minister. An uptight man with inflexible opinions, who is determined and rational. Doesn’t believe that ghosts exist. He changed his mind only after meeting the ghost personally, but even then, he preferred to dive into his own work.

Lucretia Otis – wife of Mr. Otis, pretty nice and neat lady. She is described to be considerate towards the ghost, by offering him a remedy for an upset stomach.

Washington Otis – a young man who is a great American patriot. He firmly believes in a power of America country and the products produced there. He experiences quite a shock once the stain remover that he believed in failed to remove the blood stain on the floor.

Virginia Otis – a lovable fifteen-year-old girl, with deep blue eyes. Being very compassionate, she was very kind towards the ghost and even allowed him to use her paints. She went through a risk to fulfill a prophecy and set the ghost free.

Otis twins – they are often referred to as “The Star of Stripes” for always getting canned due to their antics. Not at all scared of a ghost, they pulled a lot of pranks on a ghost, even making him think there was another ghost roaming the castle.

The Ghost – named Mr. Simon, or to be more precise, Lord Simon Canterville, who once killed his own wife for simply being plain-looking and poor cooking skills. He was cursed to atone his sins until the prophecy is fulfilled by a golden girl who will shed some tears for the ghost’s soul. He is trying to be a frightful ghost but befriends Virginia Otis, who later fulfills the prophecy.

Following the pain and loneliness of Mr. Simon, we can experience the drama of “Canterville Ghost” of Oscar Wilde. The Canterville Ghost questions and answers are put in a way for a reader to feel for the characters and obtain a meaning of a true Love that can surpass Life and Death.


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