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1) Was Hiram B. Otis believed with the Ghost?

He did not believe in ghosts and supernatural beliefs.

2) Who written of the book?

Oscar Wilde

3) What is a character sketch of Mr. Otis in The Canterville Ghost?

Mr. Hiram B. Otis is an American minister who buys Canterville Chase at the
beginning of the story. Here are some of his character attributes:

Mr. Otis is sceptical of the supernatural. This is shown most clearly in the
opening chapter when he states that he believes in the "laws of Nature" and
not Lord Canterville's stories about a ghost.
Despite persistent warnings from Lord Canterville about the ghost, Mr. Otis
refuses to believe him and this demonstrates his stubbornness, another key
Mr. Otis is also a practical man. In Chapter Two, for example, he offers the
ghost some Tammany Sun Rising Lubricator with which to oil his chains. In
addition, when Virginia goes missing in Chapter Six, Mr. Otis takes charge of the
situation: he checks every room in the house before organising an external
search of the grounds and nearby village.

4) Why did the ghost appear in a dark room?

In "The Canterville Ghost," the ghost almost always appears in a dark room. We
see this in Chapter Two when the ghost makes his first appearance before the
family. He waits until all of the lights have been turned off before he rattles his
chains along the corridor.

Arguably, the ghost appears in a dark room because he wants to maximise his
chances of scaring the Otis family. By appearing at night and in the dark, the

ghost has a better chance of frightening the new residents of Canterville Chase
which is, in fact, the reason for his existence, as is made clear in Chapter Four:

"It was his solemn duty to appear in the corridor once a week, and to gibber
from the large oriel window on the first and third Wednesdays in every month."

Ultimately, however, the ghost fails to frighten the family, despite his many
appearances in the darkest recesses of the house. In an ironic twist, the ghost
becomes the terrified victim of the Otis family and decides to leave the house
in Chapter Five so that he can rest eternally in the Garden of Death.

5) What did Mr. Otis offer the ghost? Why did he offer it?

Mr. Otis offers Sir Simon's ghost some oil. Mr. Otis wants Sir Simon to oil his
squeaky ghost chains, so the chains won't make so much noise at night.

Soon after the Otis family moves into Canterville Chase, Sir Simon begins his
haunting antics. The ghost's goal is to frighten the Otis family into leaving the
house. He has been successful at this kind of thing for hundreds of years. He
has no reason to doubt his continued success.

On one particular night, the Otis family has all gone to bed. Sir Simon begins
moving through the house quite noisily. He is dragging a set of chains and
manacles with him. The noise wakes up Mr. Otis.

Some time after, Mr. Otis was awakened by a curious noise in the corridor,
outside his room. It sounded like the clank of metal, and seemed to be coming
nearer every moment.

Annoyed, Mr. Otis gets out of bed, grabs a bottle of oil, and greets Sir Simon by
the bedroom door. Sir Simon looks terrifying. He's got red eyes and ragged
clothing, but Mr. Otis isn't fazed at all. Mr. Otis politely hands Sir Simon the oil
and kindly asks that the ghost use the oil. That way his chains won't make
noises that wake people up.

"My dear sir," said Mr. Otis, "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. It is said to be completely efficacious upon one application, and
there are several testimonials to that effect on the wrapper from some of our
most eminent native divines. I shall leave it here for you by the bedroom
candles, and will be happy to supply you with more, should you require it."

6) What were the attempts made by the Canterville Ghost to scare the
Otis family?

The Canterville Ghost first decides to reapply the blood stain that the Otis
family has removed from the carpet. This happens three times, and then the
ghost appears in chains to menace Mr. Otis. In response, Mr. Otis tells him to oil
his chains. In the meantime, the blood stains keep reappearing on the floor.
Then, the ghost knocks over an old suit of armor and sits upon the high-backed
chair. However, the twins shoot at him, and then the ghost decides to rig up
another ghost to scare the Otis children. They disassemble the other ghost, and
the Canterville Ghost decides to become the "Headless Earl" to scare the Otis
twins once and for all. Unfortunately for the ghost, the twins greet him by
rigging up a pitcher to pour water on his head, and he takes to his bed with a
bad cold, disheartened about his ability to scare the Otis family.

7) What is Virginia's reaction towards the Canterville ghost?

At the beginning of the story, Virginia does not really react towards the ghost.
She does not try to interfere with his ghostly duties, for example, nor does she
play tricks on or humiliate him, like her brothers. When she comes face to face
with the ghost in Chapter Five, however, she instantly feels sorry for him
because he looks so depressed and miserable:

Indeed, so forlorn, and so much out of repair did he look, that little Virginia
was filled with pity, and determined to try and comfort him.

This reaction changes, however, when she learns of his earthly exploits,
especially the murder of his wife, Lady Eleanore. While the ghost calls this a
"family matter," Virginia is quick to point out the immorality of taking a life:

"It is very wrong to kill anyone," said Virginia.

But her reaction undergoes another change when she finds out that the
Canterville ghost was starved to death and has spent the last three hundred
years unable to sleep. These revelations make her feel sympathetic towards
the ghost and inspire her to help him in his quest to enter the Garden of Death.

8) Describe the family that move into Canterville Chase.

At the beginning of "The Canterville Ghost," Lord Canterville sells his ancestral
home, Canterville Chase, to an American, Mr Hiram B Otis, and his family. Mr
Otis is an American ambassador and his wife, Lucretia, a former "New York
belle," is notable for her "superb profile." The couple have four children, the
eldest of whom is Washington Otis, a "fair-haired" and "good-looking young
man" whose excellent dancing skills are well-known in London. The couple's
only daughter is Virginia, a girl of fifteen, described as being as "lovely as a
fawn" and well-known for her excellent skills in pony riding. Finally are the twin
boys, known among the family as the Stars and the Stripes because they are
always getting "swished." They are extremely mischievous by nature, perhaps
as a result of their young age.

From the beginning of the story, the family members are characterised their
sceptical attitude towards the supernatural. They do not believe Lord
Canterville, for instance, when he tells them about the Canterville ghost. This
attitude of scepticism quickly fades, however, when the Otis family meet the
ghost in Chapter Two. From this point, the Otis family assert their dominance by
resisting his numerous attempts to scare them.

9) Why do the family members try to avoid talking of the ghost?

Initially, the family avoid talking about the ghost because of the blood-stain in
the library (in Chapter Two). Washington Otis removed it with Paragon
Detergent but its continual reappearance troubles the family:

The whole family were now quite interested; Mr. Otis began to suspect that he
had been too dogmatic in his denial of the existence of ghosts, Mrs. Otis
expressed her intention of joining the Psychical Society.

After this incident, the family spends the day driving and talking of all manner
of subjects which detracts their attention from the Canterville ghost. Arguably,
they do this for two reasons: firstly, because they are afraid that the ghost
really does exist and that more supernatural events will happen. Secondly, they
avoid talking about him because they do not want to accept that they were
wrong about the existence of ghosts. If they did this, it would be tantamount to
admitting that their scientific and rational view of the world was wrong. This is
fact that the Otis family are not quick to accept, considering Mr Otis's defence
of science and the "laws of Nature" in Chapter One when he debated the
existence of the ghost with Lord Canterville.

10) What are the characteristics of Mrs Otis' son?

Mrs Otis's son is called Washington, a name that he resents because it was
inspired by patriotism. In the story, he is physically described as a "fair-haired"
and "rather good-looking young man" (Chapter One).

What is most striking about Washington is his complete denial of the

supernatural. This is an attribute he shares in common with the rest of his
family but one which he physically expresses through his treatment of the
blood stain in the library. This begins in Chapter One when he uses Pinkerton's
Stain Remover to its full effect. Once the stain has vanished, Washington is
'triumphant.' But when the stain reappears, the full extent of Washington's
determination and perseverance becomes apparent. At the beginning of
Chapter Two, for example, he treats the stain again, an action he also repeats
the next morning.

Washington also has a mischievious side to his character. In Chapter Three, the
ghost scares Washington by blowing out his candle, prompting a retaliation in
Chapter Four. In this scene, Washington makes his own version of the
Canterville Ghost which he uses to frighten the real ghost. In another incident,
Washington again scares the ghost by hemming him in to a fireplace with a
"garden syringe."

But Washington has a softer character attribute, too. When his sister goes
missing in Chapter Six, for example, Washington jumps to action and joins the
search to find her, staying out until darkness falls. When Virginia returns,
Washington is the first behind her as they venture into the darkness beyond
the Tapestry door, where the ghost has just died.

11) What is the terrible tragedy of Canterville Chase?

In Chapter One of The Canterville Ghost, Mrs Umney reveals to the Otises the
terrible tragedy of Canterville Chase. In 1575, Sir Simon de Canterville
murdered his wife, Lady Eleanore, in the library of Canterville Chase. (We learn
in Chapter Five that Sir Simon murdered his wife because she was "very plain"
and poor at housekeeping). Sir Simon lived until 1584 when the brothers of
Lady Eleanore took their revenge and starved him to death, though his body
was never found.

The blood stain in the library acts as a visual reminder of this tragedy. No
matter how many times Mr Otis cleans it off with his stain remover and
detergent, the stain has reappeared by morning. While we later learn that the
ghost repaints it each night, its constant presence reminds the inhabitants of
the murderous and bloody history of Canterville Chase.

It is only in Chapter Five that this terrible tragedy is rectified, when Sir Simon
secures Virginia's aid in praying for his repentance. In return, he receives
eternal rest in the Garden of Death and the residents of Canterville Chase are
haunted no more.

12) What is Sir Simon's job?

In Chapter Five of The Canterville Ghost, Sir Simon (the ghost) tells us the
nature of his job at Canterville Chase:

"I must rattle my chains, and groan through keyholes, and walk about at
night...It is my only reason for existing."

Sir Simon, then, is the resident ghost charged with the task of making his
presence known to the residents of Canterville Chase. It is his job to terrorize
and scare anybody he comes across and he has done this with much success
over the last 300 years. In Chapter One, for example, we learn that the
Dowager Duchess of Bolton was "frightened into a fit" by the ghost, after he
placed his "skeleton hands" on her shoulders while she was getting dressed for

But the situation has changed since the Otis family bought Canterville Chase.
They are not scared by the blood stain in the library, for example, and instead
treat it with a modern chemical cleaner called Paragon Detergent. Later, the
ghost attempts to scare the Otises by emitting a "wild shriek" from the top of
the stairs but this is also a disaster. Mrs Otis simply opens her door and offers
him some medicine called Dr Dobell's tincture. Even the twins aren't afraid of
Sir Simon: they attack him with their pea-shooters after he tries to wear the
suit of armour.

After these failed attempts, the ghost feels humiliated and depressed because
he is unable to carry out his important duties. This prompts him to seek
Virginia's help in achieving his redemption. But this has an important
consequence: Sir Simon is no longer the ghost of Canterville Chase and is
instead granted eternal rest in the Garden of Death.

13) Why was Mr. Otis annoyed?

The reason that Mr. Otis is annoyed could be referencing two different early
locations in the story. The blood stain in the floor is annoying, especially after
he tried three times to get rid of it. However, I think that you are most likely
referring to the ghost's first appearance before Mr. Otis.

After Mr. Otis failed to get rid of the blood stain, he is willing to admit that there
might be some truth to the ghost stories.

"Mr. Otis began to suspect that he had been too dogmatic in his denial of the
existence of ghosts."

That very night, though, all doubt disappeared from Mr. Otis's mind about the
presence of the ghost. Mr. Otis and the rest of the family went to bed at 11
p.m. Then two hours later Mr. Otis was woken up by strange noises. He left his
room to investigate and came face to face with the ghost. But instead of being

frightened, Mr. Otis told the ghost to use some special lubricating oil on the
ghostly chains. That way the ghost won't wake anybody up.

"My dear sir," said Mr. Otis, "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. It is said to be completely efficacious upon one application, and
there are several testimonials to that effect on the wrapper from some of our
most eminent native divines. I shall leave it here for you by the bedroom
candles, and will be happy to supply you with more, should you require it."

Mr. Otis is rightly annoyed at having been awoken in the middle of the night,
but it is the following morning that he expresses even more annoyance. The
Canterville Ghost did not take the oil, and that really annoyed Mr. Otis, because
now the family will keep being woken up.

The United States Minister was naturally a little annoyed to find that his
present had not been accepted. "I have no wish," he said, "to do the ghost any
personal injury, and I must say that, considering the length of time he has been
in the house, I don't think it is at all polite to throw pillows at him,"a very just
remark, at which, I am sorry to say, the twins burst into shouts of laughter.
"Upon the other hand," he continued, "if he really declines to use the Rising
Sun Lubricator, we shall have to take his chains from him. It would be quite
impossible to sleep, with such a noise going on outside the bedrooms."

14) What is the conflict in The Canterville Ghost?

One of the basic conflicts in The Canterville Ghost is the collision between
modernity and antiquity. The ghost represents the remnants of the past. The
manner in which Sir Simon would easily terrify the servants and other members
of the traditional classes is part of the past that is upturned when the
Americans move into The Chase. The American embrace of modernity is where
the fundamental conflict lies. The ghost cannot fathom ho little fear they
possess. For each "problem" or "obstacle" that the ghost places in front of the
family, there is a modern solution. Tammany Rising Sun Lubricator, Pinkerton's
Champion Stain Remover and Paragon Detergent, or Dr. Dobell's tincture are
the tools that the Americans propose to offset what the ghost places in front of
them. This clash of culture helps to underscore the basic conflict present
throughout most of the text.

The youthful approach and complete certainty with which they live provides no
room for fear of the ghost, something that becomes evident as Sir Simon
speaks to Virginia. From the collision between past and present, the conflict
becomes a desire to transcend one's notion of identity. The ghost wishes to
find peace and the innocence of Virginia to help becomes set against the
condition of the rest of the world that sees the ghost as malevolent. The initial
conflict of collision between modernity and antiquity is set aside for a conflict of
the condition of what is in light of what can be. The desire for individuals to
aspire to an ideal realm, even while being mired in the condition of the
temporal becomes the conflict that drives the second half of the work until its
conclusion. The ending in which Virginia understands the ghost and refuses to
share with anyone what happened in her disappearance helps to provide
resolution to this conflict.

15) Is Sir Simon a protagonist or anti-protagonist in The Canterville


Even though he tried to fright the otises with his ghostly apparitions, he is
considered as the protagonist.

Sir simon de canterville is the protagonist of the story

16) Did the ghost really murder his wife? If yes, then why?

The Canterville ghost did really kill his wife. When the sweet Virginia asks him
about it, he says:

'Well, I quite admit it,' said the ghost, 'but my wife was not very nice, you
know, and she knew nothing about cookery. However, it is all over now, and I
don't think it was very nice of her brothers to starve me to death.'

This, on the surface, is a light hearted story with Wilde's characteristic comic
touch. The ghost killed his wife because she didn't know how to cook. At first,
we might laugh.

However, Wilde really doesn't make light of this murder. We learn right away
that the ghost had to pay a price: her brothers starved him to death. But then
he pays a steeper price, for he must wander forever as a ghost, not alive, but
not dead, somewhere between human and inhuman, unless someone innocent
and pure redeems him. He can never get rid of his guilt, never be at peace,
until he can die. We know that he is guilty--that killing his wife is not a joke-because of his desperate desire to be at rest.

17) What are the supernatural elements in the story, "The Canterville

In many ways, "The Canterville Ghost" is a classical example of a late-Victorian

ghost story. This is due to its supernatural elements which are designed to
spook the reader and contrast sharply with the many instances of comedy.

First of all, the setting of the story, Canterville Chase, provides a strong
supernatural element. This haunted mansion has a long history which is made
by more terrifying by another supernatural element: namely, the events which
have taken place there. In 1575, for example, Sir Simon murdered his wife,
Eleanore, in the library. Her blood stain provides a constant, physical reminder
of this brutal crime and adds to the suspense which Wilde creates in the first

Thirdly, the weather provides another supernatural element in "The Canterville

Ghost." When the Otis family takes possession of the house in Chapter One, for
instance, the weather changes, as if to reflect the houses's dark past and to
foreshadow future events:

The sky became suddenly overcast with clouds, a curious stillness seemed to
hold the atmosphere, a great flight of rooks passed silently over their heads,
and, before they reached the house, some big drops of rain had fallen.

Similarly, "a raging storm" occurs just before the Otises discover the
reappearance of the blood stain in the library.

These supernatural elements not only create a strong sense of atmosphere in

the story, they also build to the climax. That is, the ghost's repentance of his
sins and his removal from Canterville Chase to the Garden of Death, a place
where he can finally sleep and rest in peace.

18) What is your impression of the twins in the story "The Canterville

In "The Canterville Ghost," the twins are the youngest children of Mr and Mrs
Otis. Nicknamed 'The Stars and the Stripes,' they quickly become the nemesis
of Sir Simon, the Canterville ghost, because they delight in playing tricks on
him. This occurs first in Chapter Two when the twins throw pillows at the ghost
as he runs down the corridor to escape Mr Otis. Later, in Chapter Three, for
example, the twins humiliate the ghost by using their pea-shooters on him. In
another scene, in Chapter Four, the twins outwit him by constructing a slide
from the entrance of the Tapestry Chamber to the top of the staircase. Unaware
of its presence, the ghost slips on the slide and injures himself in the process.

But the twins have a sentimental side, too. When Virginia goes missing in
Chapter Six, for instance, the twins join the search to find her. At dinner, they
are described as being "awestruck" and "subdued" by her absence because of
their fondness for her. So, while their love of mischief and playing jokes on the
ghost is at the forefront of their portrayal, it is important to remember that they
are affectionate and caring characters, too. They are overjoyed at their sister's
sudden reappearance, for example, and, together, they all attend the ghost's
funeral, a serious affair with no mention of tricks or pea-shooters.

19) What circumstances bring Virginia and the ghost face to face?

In Chapter Five of "The Canterville Ghost," Virginia and the ghost come face-toface for the first time, in the Tapestry Chamber.

For Virginia, this meeting occurs after a day of riding on Brockley Meadows with
the young Duke of Cheshire. On her return, Virginia tears her riding outfit so
badly that she decides to enter the house via the back entrance, presumably to
avoid being seen by her mother. As she approaches the Tapestry Chamber, she
finds the door open and thinks that someone is inside.

Conversely, the ghost is in the Tapestry Chamber because he wants to avoid

the Otis family. He is "forlorn" and in a state of "extreme depression" after
being foiled in every attempt to frighten the family. In the most recent incident,
he met with Washington Otis who hemmed him in with a "garden syringe,"
forcing the ghost to escape through a chimney. After this, the ghost did not
appear at night again.

This chance meeting between Virginia and the ghost marks a turning point in
the story. The ghost is at his lowest and in need of a "golden girl" who can help
him to achieve eternal rest in the Garden of Death, as the prophecy on the
library window dictates. But he must first convince Virginia that he is truly sorry
for the crimes he has committed so that, together, they can shed their tears
and be forgiven by God himself.

20) What is a summary of "The Canterville Ghost?"

"The Canterville Ghost" is a hilarious short story written by Oscar Wilde. It is

about the American Otis family and their recent move into a haunted mansion.
The mansion is haunted by Sir Simon's ghost. Years ago, Sir Simon killed his
wife. Her brothers got revenge on Sir Simon and starved him to death. He has
been haunting the house ever since, and he has driven several owners from
the house.

The Otis family is different though. They are brash and confident Americans,
who do not believe in any such ghost stories. They soon discover the ghost is
indeed real, but they refuse to be frightened by Sir Simon's ghost. In fact, the
Otis family takes it upon themselves to frighten and annoy the ghost. The Otis
twins do this by far the most, and Sir Simon actually looks for ways to avoid
contact with the Otis family completely.

Young Virginia Otis is the only family member that actually feels sorry for Sir
Simon. The two of them meet one day and Virginia sweetly talks with Sir
Simon about his past. She helps him make peace with himself, and he is able
to move on in his afterlife. Virginia refuses to tell anybody exactly what
happened between her and Sir Simon.

Otra: Mr. Otis is making fun of Lord Canterville's fear of ghosts. He's saying it's
not possible for there to be ghosts and the "laws of Nature" aren't going to
change simply because they are "blue bloods" (high-class Brits). The ghost's
perspective adds to the satire. We get to know him more and understand his
feelings in this situation. In expanding the narrative to the ghosts emotions
and perspective, the speaker is allowing the reader to capture a clearer
glimpse of the suspense and tension that is in the text. The ghost here was a
dynamic rather than static character whose perspective was needed to
demonstrate some change. In addition, the ghost seems to be an essential
character like Mr. Otis, so the ghosts perspective is added as a result. It helps
with the flow of the plot and adds some active interest as the story is on a level
that is satirical. We get so many details of the horrible frights and deaths
caused by the ghostto provide the reader with an underlying thought of the
ghosts personality and acts and how others lost their sanity as a result. These
elements also add to the dark, scary, and humorous atmosphere. These
components added into the story make it a funny-read as well, considering that
ghost does not exist, yet it wants to scare others.