Point out the significance of the blossoming of the withered almond tree.
"The Canterville Ghost" is a parody of the traditional ghost story. It makes fun of ghosts as frightening creatures by showing an American family, the Otises, completely unimpressed by the ghost that haunts its newly purchased ancestral English home. On another level, however, this tale is a story of love and compassion toward the "other." Virginia, the pure 15-year-old Otis daughter, is able to enter into conversation with the ghost and learns to have sympathy for his plight. The ghost would like to die, but cannot do so. He needs someone pure to pray for his sins to be forgiven and shed tears for him. He and Virginia discuss the prophecy that is written on the library window of Canterville Hall in "curious black letters." It says:
"'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.'"
Virginia becomes the girl, who, out of compassion for the ghost, cries and prays for him to be released to death. Later, one of the Otis twins notices that the withered almond tree on the estate's grounds has blossomed. Seeing this, Virginia knows the prophecy has come to pass: the blossoming of the almond tree means the ghost truly is dead and peace can come to Canterville.