Ghost Motifs In Ghost Stories

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There are many motifs that can be analyzed in ghost literature and folklore, though one that is ever present throughout the beginning of the telling of ghost stories is the motif of the suicide ghost. This ghost manifests after the untimely demise of an individual who takes their own life. This motif is intriguing, because of its complex nature and the fact that this motif persists through time, as it is seen in early ghost stories to the most recent accounts of ghosts. The suicide victim is often seen as returning as a ghost, because of the idea that these victims have unfinished business and internal turmoil. The suicide ghost motif persists because of the fascination of the premature death, along with the idea of understanding the internal…show more content…
Tucker retells popular and common recounts of ghost stories in college. She describes the use of ghost stories to help students understand the “new stage of life” and “offer explanations about what happened to murder, suicide, and accident victims” (4). Tucker directly analyzes several suicide ghost motifs in her work and defines them as a way to teach students about things like coping with school pressures and how bullying can be emotionally damaging. One story recalls the suicide of Edith, who was an RA at the University of Northern Colorado. The story goes that the students in the dorm would play tricks of Edith to pick on her that lead to her ultimately committing suicide in her room. Tucker writes that this story teaches a lesson to students “to think twice about doing something that will hurt someone’s feelings” (57). This ghost story is a way for students to understand the emotional feelings of others. Also how everyone has feelings and emotional struggles, such as in the story Edith’s emotional struggles caused by bullying that leads to her
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