Ghost Chamber Thesis

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Analysis and Exegesis of The Ghost Chamber by Charles Dickens Emily Bodrug Professor Peter Paolucci EN 4573: S1 Victorian Ghosts 26 May 2015 The Ghost Chamber is a ghost story about two men, Mr. Goodchild and Mr. Idle who spend a night in a haunted house (1). Late on the night of their arrival, Mr. Goodchild is visited by a strange old man while Mr. Idle falls asleep (1). The visitor relates to Mr. Goodchild the story of an avaricious man who married a widow for her money but inherits none of it after her death (4). Still determined to get his hands on her prosperity, he forges a will bequeathing the woman’s wealth to her daughter from a previous marriage (4). He appoints himself guardian of the weak and credulous child, and undertakes to…show more content…
First, I will reflect on how the notion of hell is developed throughout Noel Carroll’s “Philosophy of Horror” in regards to how the overall story is a dual-functional horror plot as it consists of only an onset and discovery, but not confirmation or confrontation since the ghost is eternally under a curse (see lecture 2.1 at 1:00). Next, I will consider the topic of justice and discuss how even when one tries to reveal secrets of the past that are associated with crime in order to seek acceptance and forgiveness, they will still be stuck in hell due to the guilt they will internalize forever. Lastly, I will consider how this story is an example of gross injustice to humankind as it is a story about man and how extensive power often leads to an abusive marriage against women, which ultimately leads to living a life in hell. Therefore, The Ghost Chamber is a nested narrative in which the ghost enters hell without even realizing…show more content…
Justice is the quality of being true and fair towards others (Fraser 24). Thus, the ghost within the story seeks the two men for the purpose of justice in order to inform them of what once happened in that old house years ago with the one man murdering his wife for money (1.1 at 6.58): “’I must tell you the story’, said the old man, with a ghastly and a stony stare” (3). Therefore, what had been hidden for years now becomes revealed by the ghost (1). This type of justice is known as restorative justice which is the process of putting things back together and correcting things as they once were (Johnstone 1). The ghost does this by trying to reconcile his own sins by trying to put things back to normal and to teach the characters in the story a lesson so that he can reduce his suffering since his guilt is self-serving (Johnstone 1). However, this can never happen as justice can never be served since the ghost will forever be under the curse for his punishment where he needs to tell his story to two men who are both awake at one o’clock in the morning (12). No matter how much justice the ghost tries to seek, he is destined to eternal hell since at each hour, his body and mind duplicates which forces him to relive the day for which he was hanged for his crime, and his suffering continues to increase with each hour, and that is the

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