The Lawyer And The Ghost By Charles Dickens

The Lawyer And The Ghost

The Lawyer And The Ghost By Charles Dickens is a short ghost story excerpted from Chapter 21 of “The Pickwick Papers”. The gloomy tale starts on a grim and turbulent evening when a poor lawyer moves to an old, damp, rotten chamber in one of the most ancient inns. It is one of the first ghost stories Charles Dickens wrote.

The Lawyer And The Ghost

The tale takes place in an aged, decaying, and muggy chamber. Whilst the lawyer arranged all his furniture inside the mouldering room to improve it, he sat down at the fire in the middle of the night and drank whisky. Suddenly his glance had been intrigued by the glass doors of a wooden press. As soon as he complained about the old cabinet, he heard a faint groan from the old case. Once one of the glass doors opened, “a pale and emaciated figure in soiled and worn apparel, standing erect in the press”. The ghost was tall and thin with an anxious and caring expression. The spirit explained to the lawyer that he lived a wretched existence in that chamber and died of “grief and long-deferred hope”. The spectre asked the lawyer to leave the apartment because it belonged to him. The new tenant reminded the ghost how he could have visited the most beautiful places on earth. Space and time were not obstacles for the spirit, and he could eternally enjoy his afterlife instead of indulging in his past miseries. The ghost became convinced that he could find much more comfortable dwellings to visit. 

A Not-So-Spooky Tale

The Lawyer And The Ghost is a not-so-spooky tale compared to the others written by Charles Dickens. It seems a friendly encounter between reality and the supernatural. The ghost is not threatening, and the story is not frightening like other Dickens ghost novels such as To Be Read At Dusk. The lawyer, who was also the narrator, kept a logical and rational perspective, and he was not affected by the occult to the point of making the ghost disappear. He convinced the spirit to depart from his chamber with a simple and polite sentence: “It does appear to me somewhat inconsistent, that when you have an opportunity of visiting the fairest spots of earth – for I suppose space is nothing to you – you should always return exactly to the very places where you have been most miserable”. And the ghost admitted that his logic is true with his reply: “Egad, that’s very true; I never thought of that before”. The Lawyer And The Ghost might be considered a satire of ghost stories. The humour of Dickens here is similar to the one he showed in The Queer Chair, which could be regarded as a fable where the ghost of the situation is a chair who changed the main character’s life. Different was the scenario in The Ghosts of the Mail, where the main character rescues a beautiful lady who is supposed to be a ghost.

A Short But Captivating Literary Piece

Charles Dickens’ literary piece, The Lawyer And The Ghost, has garnered widespread attention and admiration, likewise his other ghost stories, due to its captivating and mysterious themes. The work delves into the supernatural realm, providing a unique perspective on the complexities of life and death. Its timeless nature has enabled readers to journey through time, exploring the depths of the human psyche and the unknown. The thought-provoking content of this literary work presents readers with a fascinating glimpse into the supernatural world, leaving them with a sense of wonder and intrigue that lingers long after they have completed their reading. The work’s ability to evoke powerful emotions and provoke deep contemplation has made it a masterpiece, paving the way for its continued relevance in modern times.

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