James Thurber Writing Styles in The Night the Ghost Got In

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Folktale

Most ghost stories fall into one of two categories: horror or folktale. The main purpose of horror stories is to thrill readers. Folktales, on the other hand, serve to amuse readers while telling them something about the culture that is being described. In the case of "The Night the Ghost Got In," readers are introduced to the tiny subculture of a Columbus, Ohio, family where strange noises in the night are explained by acceptance of the supernatural. Most ghost stories from the folktale strain inform readers about the culture's relation to its dead members: The ghosts are manifestations of mourning, or guilt, or some other unfinished business. Thurber does not offer any explanation about why this ghost might choose to appear in this particular house at this particular time, but once he does introduce the ghost, it does, like ghosts in traditional folktales, illuminate the prevailing social situation...

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This section contains 894 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Night the Ghost Got In Study Guide
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The Night the Ghost Got In from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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