Oscar Wilde Writing Styles in The Canterville Ghost

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Setting

"The Canterville Ghost" is set in the English countryside in the late nineteenth century. Canterville Chase, where most of the story takes place, is described in Gothic terms. It is an old mansion with secret rooms and passageways, long corridors, carved gargoyles, stained glass windows, and oak paneling. Portraits of long-dead Canterville ancestors, ancient tapestries, and a suit of armor add to the medieval-like setting. Frequent thunder and lightning storms also contribute to the gloomy atmosphere. In short, Canterville Chase seems to fit the stereotype of a haunted house.

Fairy Tale

Oscar Wilde explored fairy tale conventions in several of his works. In "The Canterville Ghost," he introduces Virginia Otis, a fairy-tale type heroine. Critics have likened her to the princess in "The Frog Prince." In that fairy tale, the princess has to put aside her ingrained dislike of amphibians, and, in a leap of faith, kiss the...

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This section contains 552 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Canterville Ghost Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Canterville Ghost from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.