The Double's Creation As A Necessary Anti Hero

1940 words - 8 pages

“In literature the double is a result of the author's conscious or unconscious desire for a wider range of action, possibilities of behavior for his hero that go beyond the morally acceptable, and this wish will create itself in the form of a double, or anti-hero” writes Joyce Carol Oates in her piece “Tragic and Comic Visions in The Brothers Karamazov.” Just as Oates suggests that doubles are created in order for an author to extend a character's range of believable actions, doubles exist to bring about change in their original forms. Citing Mikhail Bakhtin's criticism of Dostoyevsky's creation technique, I intend to align the author's intentions with the intentions of his characters, and explain that due to the author's need for a wider range of motion within a character, the character themselves creates a double. Through an understanding of this, one can view my theory through a psychological viewpoint of the original, non-duplicated, character. I also aim to present the idea of the double as an authorial tool. The latter viewpoint intends to examine doubles through in purely literal light.
A psychological viewpoint is appropriate to my research paper for the fact that each of the prime instances of doubling I aim to discuss occur unconsciously. The intentions of the originals, in my case Jack from Fight Club and Ivan from The Brothers Karamazov, that lead to the creation of their doubles lie deep within their psyches and are unacknowledged by the character. I aim to explain what occurs inside the depths of a character's mind leading up to the situation in which a double is inadvertently created. In relation to my novel and character selection I intend to discuss dissociative fugue (a result of dissociative identity disorder) as well as the concept of psychological projecting. The biggest issue I will encounter with the application of this psychological viewpoint is the formulation of a convincing argument that my two characters posses this disorder and practice this defense mechanism respectively. Through extensive research of dissociative fugue and the projection defense mechanism as well as in-depth analysis of each character's speech and action will help solidify my case for each and speak to the reasoning for their creation of doubles.
My second viewpoint is a bit more abstract in the sense that it deals solely with the concept of a literary double. This approach is not radically different from the take on the same theory that doubles are born out of an individual's need for further action they wish not to take responsibility for. This view asserts the creation of a literary double is somewhat of a cop out on the author's part. Mikhail Bakhtin, as well as countless other critics, have identified Dimitri, Ivan, and Alyosha Karamazov each as Dostoyevsky himself in differing phases of his life. In this manner, the novel is an “artistically organized” collection of languages, voices, and speech types (Rivkin 674). I...

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