"The Canterville Ghost" is a popular story by Oscar Wilde, widely adapted for the screen and stage. The story of the Canterville Ghost takes place in an old English country house, Canterville Chase, which has all the accoutrements of a traditional haunted house. Descriptions of the wainscotting, the library paneled in black oak, and the armor in the hallway characterize the Gothic setting and help Wilde clash the Old World with the New. Typical of the style of the English Decadents, the gothic atmosphere reveals the author’s fascination with the macabre. Yet he mixes the macabre with comedy, juxtaposing devices from traditional English ghost stories such as creaking floorboards, clanking chains, and ancient prophecies with symbols of modern American consumerism. Wilde’s Gothic setting helps emphasize the contrast between cultures setting modern Americans in what could arguably be a classic symbol of British history—and underscores the "modern" thinking of the house's mismatched residents, the Otises.
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Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. Today he is remembered for his epigrams, his novel 'The Picture of Dorian Gray', his plays, and the circumstances of his imprisonment and early death.
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