The Canterville Ghost


Oscar Wilde

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The Almond Tree Symbol Analysis

The Almond Tree Symbol Icon

The almond tree that blooms at the end of The Canterville Ghost symbolizes unlikely beginnings. Almond trees don’t really grow in England: they’re more adapted to hotter climates in the Mediterranean. So, it’s no real surprise that the Canterville’s almond tree has gone barren for so long. Its blooming, however, is surprising. As stated in the prophesy inscribed on Canterville Chase’s library window, the blooming almond tree signals Sir Simon’s final passing into eternal rest, thereby suddenly ending his three-hundred-year reign as the ghost of Canterville Chase. Now that Sir Simon has passed on, the blood-stained reminder of his crimes has been erased, and the aristocracy have vacated Canterville Chase, a new generation of people can come into power. This generation, marked by Virginia’s marriage to the Duke of Cheshire, is literally able to marry American egalitarianism with the better aspects of the British aristocracy—that is, they’re able to get around all of the stubborn struggles of the past and move forward together.

The Almond Tree Quotes in The Canterville Ghost

The The Canterville Ghost quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Almond Tree. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The British Aristocracy vs. American Vulgarity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Branden Books edition of The Canterville Ghost published in 2011.
Chapter 5 Quotes

When a golden girl can win

Prayer from out the lips of sin,

When the barren almond bears,

And a little child gives away its tears,

Then shall all the house be still,

And peace come to Canterville

Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6  Quotes

“Hallo!” suddenly exclaimed one of the twins, who had been looking out of the window to try and discover in what wing of the house the room was situated. “Hallo! The old withered almond-tree has blossomed. I can see the flowers quite plainly in the moonlight.”

Related Characters: The Otis Twins (speaker), Sir Simon de Canterville, Virginia E. Otis
Related Symbols: The Almond Tree
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Almond Tree Symbol Timeline in The Canterville Ghost

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Almond Tree appears in The Canterville Ghost. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Mercy and Empathy Theme Icon
Appearance, Reality, and Sincerity Theme Icon
...pray for the forgiveness of his sins. If it works, she’ll know, because an old almond tree on the property will bloom.  (full context)
Chapter 6 
Mercy and Empathy Theme Icon
Appearance, Reality, and Sincerity Theme Icon
...and allowed him to rest at last. The twins confirm this when they notice the almond tree blooming. (full context)