Creepy Book Club discussion

The Phantom of the Opera
This topic is about The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera (Aug) > Ch 14-Epilogue (END OF BOOK DISCUSSION)

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message 1: by NightmareMaven (new)

NightmareMaven | 257 comments Mod
Leave your thoughts on Chapter 14 (The Singular Attitude of a Safety Pin) through the end of the book here!

Here are some discussion questions from Penguin/Random House if you want to use them as a jumping-off point for your review!

1. Some modern critics feel the characters in The Phantom of the Opera are static and shallow, that Christine is too innocent, Raoul too noble, and Erik’s obsession with Christine never fully explained. Do you think Leroux purposely did this, and if so, why?

2. The Phantom of the Opera was published as the romantic movement was slowly turning into the gothic movement. How would you classify it?

3. Leroux wrote The Phantom of the Opera in a time when there was widespread French interest in Freudian psychoanalysis and particularly the libidinal/infantile/mother-seeking unconscious. How does Leroux work this into his novel? Are there characters that fit the infant or mother role?

4. Some critics see the Phantom as simply the unconscious, the Freudian superego. Do you believe this is what Leroux was truly writing about, or did he give his monster more depth?

5. Some see Erik as not shifting his class status, the theme of many gothic novels, but instead shifting his race. What scenes in the text help, or hinder, this assessment? Why would Leroux write of something so controversial?

6. One of Leroux’s major themes in this novel is the changing of one’s class. Consider Christine, the daughter of a fairground fiddle player, now besting the most talented opera singer in Paris and winning the heart of a viscount. What is Leroux saying here? Is it meant to simply be a happy ending?

Jamie Zaccaria | 27 comments An effectively creepy classic gothic novel. I could have done with a little more action rather than retelling and maybe some more scariness but I'm such it scared a lot more people when it was published.

1. I agree that none are fleshed out enough although we've seen this in other literature from the time so I doubt it was done on purpose.

Nymheria  (nymheriaaa) | 32 comments I'm glad I read it. I enjoyed the first half quite a bit more than the second half. Getting the aftermath of the story from someone else's point of view didnt work well for me. I definitely think this reads as both romantic and gothic.

Raoul is "too noble"? I thought he was an annoying jerk. Haha.

Pretty much every gothic romance I have read has the "rags to riches" trope where a poor female character wins the heart of a rich man. Kind of funny that that trope is still popular in romance today.

Overall, a three star for me :)

message 4: by NightmareMaven (new)

NightmareMaven | 257 comments Mod
I'm gonna be honest with, y'all....I DNF'd this one. I was just extraordinarily NOT into it. Which is weird because I've seen the live musical three times, the movies COUNTLESS times...

I really like the story, but I just couldn't make myself get into this one. I think it was the after-the-fact, journalistic, unfeeling way the story was told. Even though I didn't finish it, I feel like the movies/play took the material and told it in a WAY more interesting way.

OR....or I'm just incredibly biased (which is a very real possibility).

Nymheria  (nymheriaaa) | 32 comments I have to agree that the movies and Broadway show are better. Great story, but suffers from the way in which the author chose to tell it.

message 6: by Amy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Amy Marie | 22 comments This one defiantly took me a while to get into. The first half I really struggled with and just kinda found boring, but the second half I did like a lot more and was able to get through a lot quicker. I was not expecting the whole underground house and torture chamber set up either. Growing up I always just thought oh the ghost steals the girl and hides her under the stage and we go looking for her - I was not expecting this story line at all. I don’t know if I would ever read this again, but I’m still happy I read it.

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