Chapter

Colonial ghosts: mimicry, history, and laughter

Andrew Smith

in The Ghost Story, 1840–1920

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780719074462
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700006 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719074462.003.0008
Colonial ghosts: mimicry, history, and laughter

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This chapter presents a comparative reading of Dickens, Sheridan Le Fanu and Rudyard Kipling. It argues that the representations of mimicry challenge the notions of colonial authority. It shows that Dickens's American Notes uses a ghost in the account of solitary confinement at the Philadelphian state penitentiary to explain the feelings of isolation endured by a prisoner. The ghost stories of Le Fanu and Kipling, on the other hand, uses images of mimicry and laughter that problematise any attempt to give them a coherent colonial perspective.

Keywords: comparative reading; mimicry; colonial authority; isolation; colonial perspective

Chapter.  13382 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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