A Ghost Story

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"A Ghost Story" Mark Twain's short story, simply entitled “A Ghost Story” begins as what seems to be a traditional tale of paranormal occurrences, but soon takes a humorous turn. Twain draws the reader in with descriptions of ghostly characters visiting him in his solitude while he his staying in a room on the top floor of a deserted old building. He seems to feel that he is losing his mind, but soon the creature causing all of the ruckus makes himself known. He is the ghost of a man of gigantic stature whose body lies in the museum across the street. He explains that he has been haunting the inn across the street since no one visits the museum at midnight, trying to get someone to give his body a proper burial so he can be at peace.The protagonist quickly laughs at him, and explains that the remains across the street are simply a plaster cast, and the real remains are in Albany. The giant ghost leaves in embarrassment and asks the speaker not to tell anyone about his foolish mistake. There protagonist of the story is static, which adds to the humor of the story. He experiences a haunting and comes face to face with a ghost, yet as soon as he realizes it is a ghost he asks him to sit down and chat. He shows almost no change in disposition other than calming down from his heightened state of fear, which is ironically after he realizes it is in fact a ghost in his midst. When the ghost leaves, the speaker feels bad for him, but even more upset that he carried off with his blanket and bathtub, using them as clothing. The external conflict is the haunting of the protagonist. First he sees a footprint in the ashes near the fire. Then something pulls his blankets off of him repeatedly. He hears chains clanking, screams, moaning, and whispering. He sees the swish of invisible garments and wings. He feels a cold hand on his face, and blood-like droplets on his face.
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