The Canterville Ghost

by

Oscar Wilde

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Washington Otis Character Analysis

Mr. and Mrs. Otis named Washington after George Washington, once again revealing their overblown American patriotism. Washington is the older brother to Virginia and the twins. Washington is responsible for constantly removing the bloodstain on the sitting-room floor of Canterville Chase, and as such earns the particular wrath of Sir Simon. He is described as a good-looking young man with an unfortunate fondness both for flowers and the aristocracy. Washington is not particularly fond of his name.
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Washington Otis Character Timeline in The Canterville Ghost

The timeline below shows where the character Washington Otis appears in The Canterville Ghost. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
The British Aristocracy vs. American Vulgarity Theme Icon
Appearance, Reality, and Sincerity Theme Icon
...season, the Otis family moves into the home, including Mrs. Otis, the couple’s oldest son Washington, their daughter Miss Virginia E. Otis, and the twins, who are called affectionately “the Star... (full context)
The British Aristocracy vs. American Vulgarity Theme Icon
...“a really wonderful amount of animal spirits,” and she has a certain Englishness about her. Washington was patriotically named after George Washington. Virginia is a girl of fifteen, who is “lithe... (full context)
The British Aristocracy vs. American Vulgarity Theme Icon
Commercialism and Politics Theme Icon
Washington Otis is unimpressed by these histories and instantly sets to work removing the stain from... (full context)
Chapter 2 
The British Aristocracy vs. American Vulgarity Theme Icon
Commercialism and Politics Theme Icon
Appearance, Reality, and Sincerity Theme Icon
The next morning, the Otis family discovers that Washington’s cleaning job didn’t stick: the bloodstain has come back overnight. Washington again cleans the stain,... (full context)
Chapter 3
The British Aristocracy vs. American Vulgarity Theme Icon
Commercialism and Politics Theme Icon
Mercy and Empathy Theme Icon
Appearance, Reality, and Sincerity Theme Icon
A few days go by without incident, except that the bloodstain on the fireplace—which Washington still scrubs clean daily—changes colors every morning, so that it seems quite unnatural at times.... (full context)
The British Aristocracy vs. American Vulgarity Theme Icon
Appearance, Reality, and Sincerity Theme Icon
...He assembles an elaborate costume complete with a rusty dagger. He plans to sneak into Washington’s room, wake him, and then stab himself in the neck three times while Washington watches.... (full context)
The British Aristocracy vs. American Vulgarity Theme Icon
Once he’s done with Washington, Sir Simon plans to scare Mr. and Mrs. Otis by touching them with his ghostly... (full context)
Chapter 4 
The British Aristocracy vs. American Vulgarity Theme Icon
Mercy and Empathy Theme Icon
...while Sir Simon is walking the halls, reminiscing about his haunting past, the twins and Washington attempt to trap Sir Simon. He resorts to fleeing through the flues of Canterville Chase’s... (full context)
The British Aristocracy vs. American Vulgarity Theme Icon
Appearance, Reality, and Sincerity Theme Icon
...a book on the history of the Democratic party. Mrs. Otis organizes a clam bake. Washington and the twins play card games, and Virginia rides her pony. Mr. Otis is so... (full context)
Chapter 6 
Mercy and Empathy Theme Icon
Appearance, Reality, and Sincerity Theme Icon
...such an excursion (the Duke replies that he doesn’t want a hat; he wants Virginia). Washington is sent out as well with a larger search party. (full context)