The Queer Chair by Charles Dickens is a short ghost story, also known as The Bagman’s Story, published in The Pickwick Papers in 1837. The main character is Tom Smart, a wanderer travelling on a road close to Bristol by a clay-coloured gig and red wheels, towed by a bay mare. During a night storm, he finds refuge in a comfortable, warm inn whose landlady is a charming widow. During the delicious dinner and the several punches, Tom encounters the widow’s admirer, a tall man Tom dislikes. After dinner, he goes to his bed chamber, where there is a magic chair. The antique strange, grim-looking, high-backed chair was finely carved and embellished with a floral damask cushion. Tom could not stop to stare at the unusual and mysterious chair at his bedside. During the night, the chair transformed into a man telling Tom a story about his previous life and the inn. The queer chair and Tom enter into a confidential conversation, and it is unclear if Tom dreamed about it or if it happened in the story, considering how much punch Tom drank during his dinner. The supernatural and reality become one entity, and this short ghost story is very unusual and pretty intriguing, even though it is a few pages of a novel. In The Queer Chair by Charles Dickens, imagination, intuition and self-confidence are the features that help Tom in his adventurous life. This supernatural story shows how dreams connect the subconscious and rationality. In this story, the ghost is the helper and guide of Tom, changing his life radically and forever. The magic transformation of the chair represents a life evolution for Tom. The ghost of this fantastic story is a benevolent helper without any purpose to scare or harm the other characters. Even if Tom’s first reaction is fear of the unknown and unconventional, because it is not so common to encounter a magic chair, with trust and confidence, he becomes closely acquainted with the supernatural world. Oftentimes, the most improbable, uneasy and uncommon situations are the doors to good metamorphoses of life.
I am a literary blogger, a writer, a poet and a physicist. I have a PhD in Physics and am a former researcher in Astroparticle Physics. I am fluent in 5 languages: Italian, English, French, Spanish and Hebrew. Previously, I had studied Ancient Greek and Latin. Books, literature, poetry, and art are some of my passions.