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The Fantastical Elements of Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera

The Fantastical Elements of Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera

In Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera fantastic literature is displayed at its best. Originally published in 1911, this French writer produced one of the most famous novels in French history. Created into a play and a musical produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, this story has touched millions. However, this transition from a novel to a theatrical performance has caused much of the story to be left out of the production. When viewed in its entirety, the novel exhibits many fantastical elements. Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera meets all of the requirements of fantastic literature. These characteristics do not resemble those of Magical Realism extensively.

The novel has many realistic qualities that may mask the fantastic elements. The background and setting are recognizable as a French opera house set in Paris. The characters use familiar, if out dated, dialect. The era in which the story takes place, the late eighteen hundreds, is also very realistic. Horses and carriages are still used as the mode of transportation, the musical pieces sung in the novel are pieces that would be sung at other operas during that time period, and the style of clothing is what would be expected of the era. This base of reality is common to both Magical Realism as well as Fantastic literature.

The attitudes of the characters are also very realistic. At the masked ball, the Parisians take part whole heartedly, accepting the idea of masking their identity as the normal ball activity. In today’s time, the dressing incognito idea is an unusual one. The characters do not accept the idea of the “Opera Ghost” as a real ghost and many exhibit a disbelief, as they would in rea…

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…re into a masterpiece that would be famous for almost one hundred years after its publication date. He also creates a false history of the tale, claiming it can found in any French records, if one only takes the time to look. Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera meets all of the requirements of fantastic literature. Through meeting these requirements of the Fantastic, this work also pulls itself out of the category of Magical Realism. Written in such an eerie tone, and with the horror found in its pages, it is no wonder that The Phantom of the Opera is included as horror or mystery besides its standing as a classical novel.

Works Cited

Leroux, Gaston. The Phantom of the Opera. New York: Signet Classic, 1987.

Todorov, Tzvetan. The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Form. Cleveland: The Press of Case Weston Reserve University, 1973. pp 168-174.

The Role of External Pressure in the Fight Against Apartheid and Minority Rule in South Africa

The Role of External Pressure in the Fight Against Apartheid and Minority Rule in South Africa

External pressure played a very important part in bringing about the

end of the apartheid. The embodied rejection of White domination in

South Africa, in formations of protests, strikes and demonstrations

caused a decade of turbulent mass action in resistance to the

imposition of still harsher forms of segregation and oppression.

The Defiance Campaign of 1952 carried mass mobilisation to new heights

under the banner of non-violent resistance to the pass laws. These

actions were influenced in part by the philosophy of Mohandas Gandhi.

A critical step in the emergence of non-racialism was the formation of

the Congress Alliance, including the ANC; South African Indian

Congress; the Coloured People?s Congress; a small White congress

organisation (the Congress of Democrats); and the South African

Congress of Trade Unions. The Alliance gave formal expression to an

emerging unity across racial and class lines that was manifested in

the Defiance Campaign and other mass protests of this period, which

also saw women?s resistance take a more organised character with the

formation of the Federation of South African Women.

In 1955, a Freedom Charter was drawn up at the Congress of the People

in Soweto. The Charter enunciated the principles of the struggle,

binding the movement to a culture of human rights and no racialism.

Over the next few decades, the Freedom Charter was elevated to an

important symbol of the freedom struggle.

The Pan-Africans Congress (PAC), founded by Robert Sobukwe and based

on the philosophies of ?Africanism? and anti-com…

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…economy and increasing international pressure,

these developments made historic changes


F.W. de Klerk, who replaced Botha as State President in 1989,

announced at the opening of Parliament in February 1990 the unbanning

of the liberation movements and release of political prisoners,

notably Nelson Mandela. A number of factors led to this step.

International financial, trade, sport and cultural sanctions were

clearly biting. Above all, even if South Africa were nowhere near

collapse, either militarily or economically, several years of

emergency rule and ruthless repression had clearly neither destroyed

the structures of organised resistance, nor helped establish

legitimacy for the Apartheid regime or its collaborators. Instead,

popular resistance, including mass and armed action, was intensifying.

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