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The Phantom of the Opera

Good Essays
The Phantom of the Opera is a novel written by Gaston Leroux. The novel takes

place in Paris. The exact time is unknown but would be around 1910. The reviews from

the critics are very different. Although Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera has

not generally been highly commended by critics, many would agree that there are several

elements that prove Leroux to be a talented writer. One of the strongest elements in the

novel is the narrator's voice. The narrator is on a quest, starting out with the question of

whether the opera ghost was real and is trying to find evidence in order to reach a

conclusion. He takes the reader behind the scenes of the opera. He does this with the

themes of appearance and reality. He also uses other themes such as horror and

innocence. Another element of this novel is Leroux's sense of scene. He had a sense

of mystery while visiting the Paris Opera House, and thus presented culture from it.

Themes play an important role in most novels. The Phantom of the Opera is no

Exception. There are four themes in the novel. Appearance and reality are two themes

that are contrasting. The mask that Erik wears separates his appearance from actual

reality. “When he is wearing his mask, Christine can believe that he is a poor,

misunderstood man who has just not been given the attention he deserves. When he

represents himself to her as the spirit of music, she responds to his musical gift and really

does see him as angelic” (Newark). When she sees his face though, she is so terrified that

she can never think fondly of him again. “In addition to the Phantom’s looks, however,

his whole existence is one big charade. He is greatly gifted, but h...

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...s, Daniel. "The Phantom of the Opera." Booklist 106.3 (2009): 46. MAS Ultra-School Edition. Web. 3 Nov. 2011.

Eds, Mark Milne, Ira, and Timothy Sisler. "The Phantom of the Opera." Novels For Students. Vol. 20. Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2005. Print.

Eds, Mark Milne, Ira, and Timothy Sisler. "The Phantom of the Opera." Detroit: Gale, 2005. 125-145. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 26 Oct. 2011. .

Newark, Cormac. ""Vous Qui Faites L'endormie": The Phantom and the Buried Voices of the Paris Opéra." Vol. 33. JSTOR. 62-78. University of California Press. Web. 3 Nov. 2011. .

Poupard, Dennis, ed. "Gaston Leroux 1868-1927." Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Vol. 25. Detroit: Gale Research, 1988. Print.
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