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Doppleganger in Willialm Wilson


Literature is one of the most beautiful and entertaining forms of art in history. Forms of literature are never ending; poetry, science fiction, historical fiction, non fiction and horror among others. In literature the doppelganger is a character that appears quite unexpectedly and has a special meaning for one character in the novel, who is more than likely the protagonist, because he is a kind of alter ego. The doppelganger represents or embodies a side of the person which is normally suppressed, in many ways he is very opposite of the protagonist; but the protagonist feels a connection with this new comrade.

In the books The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad, William Wilson by Edgar Allen Poe, and A separate Peace by John Knowles the authors each use the idea of duality to portray the psychological conflicts and resolutions of the protagonists in their respective books.

In the novel The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad, the author uses the idea of duality to portray the psychological conflicts and resolutions of the protagonist. The narrator and Captain is the protagonist in The Secret Sharer. In the beginning of the story the Captain, being a rookie, is very insecure and non-confident. “… and marveling at that something unyielding in his character which was carrying him through so finely. There was no agitation in his whisper. Whoever was being driven distracted, it was not he. He was sane.” In this as in many other instances in the early stages of the novel, the Captain is insecure and indecisive about his decisions, and as in this case always second guessing himself. Upon meeting his “double,” the Captain develops an admiration of the self-confidence of his doppelganger, Leggatt. The Captain realizes that he must be rid of his insecurities and replace them with confidence, and does just so in the resolution of the book. He holds strong in his decision to pull the ship inward and allow an easier escape for his doppelganger, while his crew is cracking. “ ‘She’s ashore already,’ he wailed, trying to tear himself away. ‘Is she?… keep good full there!’” This quote depicts the Captain becoming confident and decisive with his orders, even through the most hectic times. William Wilson by Edgar Allen Poe uses the idea of duality to create a conflict and resolution of the protagonist.

In the short story William Wilson, Edgar Allen Poe uses the...

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Category:   Literature

Length:   3 pages (606 words)

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