What is Virginia's reaction towards the Canterville ghost?  

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of the story, Virginia does not really react towards the ghost. She does not try to interfere with his ghostly duties, for example, nor does she play tricks on or humiliate him, like her brothers. When she comes face to face with the ghost in Chapter Five, however, she instantly feels sorry for him because he looks so depressed and miserable:

Indeed, so forlorn, and so much out of repair did he look, that little Virginia…was filled with pity, and determined to try and comfort him.

This reaction changes, however, when she learns of his earthly exploits, especially the murder of his wife, Lady Eleanore. While the ghost calls this a "family matter," Virginia is quick to point out the immorality of taking a life:

"It is very wrong to kill anyone," said Virginia.

But her reaction undergoes another change when she finds out that the Canterville ghost was starved to death and has spent the last three hundred years unable to sleep. These revelations make her feel sympathetic towards the ghost and inspire her to help him in his quest to enter the Garden of Death.