Whatever I read by Oscar Wilde I really like, and it always gives me a bittersweet feeling. The pattern in Wilde's literature is so beautiful. This onWhatever I read by Oscar Wilde I really like, and it always gives me a bittersweet feeling. The pattern in Wilde's literature is so beautiful. This one is no different. Similar to "The nightingale and the rose" this one is about great sacrifices for people in need, sacrifices that go unnoticed by the shallow and rich people - which could really make a big difference.
In Canterville Chase there is a misunderstood, unsuccessful ghost, who used to be very successful, until an American family, Otis, moved in. The AmeriIn Canterville Chase there is a misunderstood, unsuccessful ghost, who used to be very successful, until an American family, Otis, moved in. The Americans are portrayed in a peculiar manner. They have a fancy for materialim and American super products, and know nothing about the English etiquette. Wilde emphasized differences in culture by creating special characters and then pitting the "unsophisticated tastes" of the patriotic Americans - patriotic as their children are named Washington and Virginia - against the Brittish esteem of traditions.
Thereby, the family haven’t got a clue how to behave when seeing a ghost, nor that it’s not very polite to insult him. The Ghost tries many different approaches, but is sinking deeper and deeper into despair. It all starts when Mr Otis is tired of the noise the Ghost is making - trying to scare them with rustling chains - and declares: ”I really must insist on your oiling those chains, and have brought you for that purpose a small bottle of the Tammany Rising Sun Lubricator”.
The self-centred Americans don’t respect him at all, despite all his effords to frighten them, and the fact that he's not able to fulfill his duty makes him depressed. He can't understand their behavior, and, in fact, he ends up being the one fleeing from them. ”There was evidently no time to be lost, so, hastily adopting the Fourth Dimension of Space as a means of escape, he vanished through the wainscoting, and the house became quiet quiet.”
My favorite parts were the ones with the blood-stain. It is hilarious, and referred to many times. ”For some days after this he was extremely ill, and hardly stirred out of his room at all, except to keep the blood-stain in proper repair.”
”For five days he kept to his room, and at last made up his mind to give up the point of the blood-stain on the library floor. It the Otis family did not want it, they clearly did not deserve it. They were evidently people on a low, material plane of existence, and quite incapable of appreciating the symbolic value of sensuous phenomena.”
”'...who ever heard of emerald-green blood?' 'Well, really' said the Ghost, rather meekly, 'what was I to do? It is a very difficult thing to get real blood nowadays, and as your brother began it all with his Paragon Detergent, I certainly was no reason why I should not have your paints. As for colour, that is always a matter of taste: the Cantervilles have blue blood, for instance, the very bluest in England; but I know you Americans don’t care for things of this kind.'”
What is it with Oscar Wilde that so captures me? I ask myself. Well, first and foremost, his books have an exceptional wit. Second, Wilde had a scary, extraordinary ability to reveal people’s inner nature, that is a fact, evident in masterpieces like "Picture of Dorian Gray" and "The Nightingale and the Rose". Third, Wilde often turned things around, and offered new perspectives. In this piece of work, Wilde’s main protagonist isn't one of the family, often adopted by other authors of ghost stories, but the Ghost itself. Wilde concentrated on his feelings, fears and despair, and the story takes a different turn than you might have thought. It’s not entirely a satire, it's also deeply insightful and moving. The story, as I see it, is really about forgiveness and moving on, something that, interestingly, is examined through a ghost.
The ending, where Virginia must weep for him for his sins, because he have no tears, and pray for him for his soul, because he have no faith, was beautiful....more
This is the saddest, most tragic story I've ever read. It starts out as a fairytale and you think it will end well. Love is described as the most beauThis is the saddest, most tragic story I've ever read. It starts out as a fairytale and you think it will end well. Love is described as the most beautiful thing in the world, by the nightingale outside the student's window.
“Be happy, cried the Nightingale, be happy; you shall have your red rose. I will build it out of music by moonlight, and stain it with my own heart's-blood. All that I ask of you in return is that you will be a true lover, for Love is wiser than Philosophy, though she is wise, and mightier than Power, though he is mighty. Flame-coloured are his wings, and coloured like flame is his body. His lips are sweet as honey, and his breath is like frankincense.”
But I should have seen it coming, the darkness. This is Oscar Wilde, after all. My heart burst and I felt pure pain for the nightingale's sacrifice. The picture that got stuck in my mind was the painfully colored rose lying in the gutter.
Wilde is portraying people's idea of love as extremely shallow, while the nightingale serves as the only one with a true heart....more