UNIVERSITY OF PHILOSPHY AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
GOTHIC NOVEL AND THRILLER
THE IDEA OF THE DOUBLE IN LITERATURE: JOHN JASPER IN ''THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD'' BY CHARLES DICKENS
Student: Tanja Kurilić
Professor: dr.sc. Sintija Čuljat
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
2. The idea of The Double in literature
3. John Jasper in The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens 4. Is Jasper guilty or not?
6. Works cited
One of the most famous Dickens's novels, The Mystery of Edwin Drood offers a lot of themes which could be discussed. One of them which is probably the most interesting is the doubleness of character John Jasper. It is probably the most interesting because John Jasper is one of the main characters. Although according to the title of the novel readers expect Edwin to be the main character, the story focuses on Jasper who is at the beginning presented as positive, Edwin's uncle who supports him and helps him. Towards the end of the novel readers have reasons to believe that Jasper himself is Edwin Drood's murderer. The novel has remained unfinished so no one will ever find out who was supposed to be a murderer. This fact makes the story more interesting and keeps readers' interest. John Jasper reveals himself as a very complex character who joins two different and in a way opposite characters. There is the impression that he embodies at least two completely different persons each of whom is complex enough to be discussed. There are also some suggestions by the critics that Jasper could be the description of the author's person – Charles Dickens himself. Different suggestions will be presented and discussed further in this work. The aim of this work is to describe the phenomenon of the double in literature using the example of John Jasper. At the beginning there is a short explanation of this phenomenon and then follows the description of John Jasper's character and the double in him. This description will be followed by some examples from the novel which could prove that the double of Jasper's figure really exists. After that there is a short part showing the hints from the novel which lead the readers to the conclusion that Jasper is guilty of Edwin’s murder. This is relevant because his guilt is linked to the double of his character, which is the main topic of this work.
2. THE IDEA OF THE DOUBLE IN LITERATURE
The idea of the double in literature refers mainly to the doubleness among characters, in most cases it is doubleness between two characters. They are being presented as two similar figures with almost identical characteristics or they are being presented as persons with completely opposite characteristics. Still, the doubleness can refer also to the doubleness inside one person, one character of the story. In this case the character encompasses different characteristics and acts as two or more different persons depending on situation. As Doris Eder describes it: Either the double is an exact replica, mirror image, or identical twin (as in Plautus' Menaechmi or Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors) or the double is one's other self, a self irrupting from the unconscious, that is antithetical yet complementary to one's conscious self—as in many works of Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Dostoevsky, and Conrad. (http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=psar.065.0579a). This possibility of changing the attitude and the behavior could be linked to the psychological problem of split personality, also known as multiple personality disorder. It is a psychiatric diagnosis whose essential feature is the presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states that recurrently take control of behavior (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissociative_identity_disorder). This feature can be found in many characters in many famous novels. The doubleness helps to understand the character which is being presented in this way and to conclude about causes...
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