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A Phantom of the Opera Reading Community
Discussion Post 10 
3rd-Aug-2007 04:14 pm
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Summary for Chapter Nineteen:

Raoul tells his story about Erik and the Opera Ghost to the disbelieving Police Commissary Mifroid.

Summary for Chapter Twenty

The Persian assists Raoul, who is now bewildered by everything to do with the Persian.

Possible Discussion Questions:

-Putting aside any idea gleaned from Kay's novel, why do you think the Persian holds no hatred for Erik. What, from Leroux's information, do you truly think their relationship was?

-Why do you feel the Persian goes out of his way to assist Raoul, knowing the danger that lie before them. It is truly to aide Christine, or could he have other motives?

-Why do you think Leroux brings up class (dress code at the opera), yet again, when it is a crucial and suspenseful point in the plot?
Comments 
7th-Aug-2007 08:51 pm (UTC)
I think there's quite an obsessive quality to the Persian's relationship with Erik. The way he talks about Erik's control over the building itself: 'his eyes in that lock, his ears in that beam!' He talks about how fearsome an adversary he is. Raoul notes that he sees the same pity in the Persian for Erik that Christine displays.

I don't think there's anything slashy at play (I'd rather not be ToS'ed, thanks. *looks around shiftily* ;)) I think the Persian is intrigued and obsessed by the sheer charisma of the man with whom his life became entangled. On the other hand, think of the gamble he took allowing Erik to escape the fate the Shah had planned for him? He was only spared death when the half-rotted corpse turned up - but even then, he exiled and all his property removed.

In that context, maybe he agrees to assist Raoul because it offers a means by which he can legitimately interact with Erik?
8th-Aug-2007 05:00 am (UTC)
I think perhaps the Persian could have felt slightly guilty for sparing him from the Shah. Maybe he feels he could redeem himself when he's helping Raoul. However, that doesn't explain why he helped Erik escape death in the first place.
8th-Aug-2007 08:31 pm (UTC)
It's difficult. The Persian saw exactly what Erik was capable of in Mazenderan, when he was given sufficient scope and power. He also expresses the thought that Erik seemed not to know the difference between right and wrong. I would imagine that he would have to have decided how he was going to deal with his guilt at the time - as he had no idea (at this point) that he and Erik would again cross paths back in Paris. As far as he knew, at the time, Erik could have gone on to wreak no small degree of havoc elsewhere. To have spared him and allowed that to happen simply because Erik had made him laugh a couple of times and granted a few favours just seems so extreme.


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