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The Ghost Story, 1840–1920A Cultural History$
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Andrew Smith

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719074462

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719074462.001.0001

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Colonial ghosts: mimicry, history, and laughter

Colonial ghosts: mimicry, history, and laughter

(p.143) 7 Colonial ghosts: mimicry, history, and laughter
The Ghost Story, 1840–1920

Andrew Smith

Manchester University Press

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

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