The Phony Of The Opera


The Phony Of The Opera Essay, Research Paper

Because of normal disbelief in ghosts and the paranormal, Gaston

Leroux goes to great lengths to ensure that, in fact, ?The Opera Ghost

really existed.? In the prologue of The Phantom of the Opera, written with

the feel of a gothic novel, Mr. Leroux says, ?He was not, as was long

believed, a creature of the imagination of the artists, the superstition

of the managers, or a product of the absurd and impressionable brains

of the young ladies of the ballet, their mothers, the box-keepers, the

cloak-room attendants or the concierge,? he uses this explicit sentence

to stress the importance that the ghost really exists. Without this

assurance of the author, the whole story from here gets doubted by some

skeptic, ruining the book for he or she.

When Gaston Leroux says, ?Yes, he existed in flesh and blood,? he

precludes any thought the reader might have about drug induced

hallucinations or real phantoms for that matter. From when the words ?flesh and

blood? signal to the readers that Erik, an antagonist of many heads,

exists as a phantom to the people around him instead of a real specter,

to the point when Erik receives his poetic justice by meeting his

termination and Raoul, the protagonist, gets his retribution, Gaston Leroux

strives to ensure that the ?ghost? existed as a real human being. A

great mind once said, ?Tell a man a billion stars exist in the universe

and he will believe you, tell him the bench has wet paint, and he has to

touch it.? Human nature tells us to want to disprove something that

someone says. Since Leroux knows this, he plants the seed of curiosity

in the reader?s mind, willing them to read on.

Only unreasonable people believe that Erik exists as a ghost. When

normal readers read this novel, they catch themselves at times thinking,

?No way a ghost could of done that,? or, ?It is not a ghost because

of…? Only an irrational hillbilly with 9 teeth could think that Erik

exists as a ghost. Then again, why would a hillbilly with 9 teeth read a

fine piece of literature as this?

Even though it may cause more difficulty to Leroux then it may seem,

eloquently stating that, ?the ghost really did exist,? made the story

more believable. A skeptical reader might think that, ?The extremely

high pitch of Carlotta?s voice may have loosened the bolts holding in the

chandelier,? or, ?Frightened, Christine runs away and the ?ghost? gets

blamed.? The tone of this novel would change if it had a, ?The wind

might of killed Joseph Boquet or maybe Raoul does it,? kind of feel.

When Gaston Leroux uses the sentence, ?…the kidnapping of Christine

Daa?, the disappearance of the Vicomte de Chagny and the death of his elder

brother, Count Philippe, whose body was found on the bank of the lake

that exists in the lower cellars of the Opera on the Rue-Scribe side,?

he displays that, in fact, the ?ghost,? a living and breathing thing

capable of evil deeds, afflicted with rage and filled with the want for

retribution, attempts to kill many people and secedes in just that.

By outright saying that the ghost exists Leroux gives the readers a

chill that erases all doubt that anything but a ?phantom? is the reason

of such horror, terror, and reading well into the night, trying to find

out what happens next.

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