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.