need help for William Wilson : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I need help for understanding William Wilson and to analyse it, especially the end of the novel because I have to product an essay on it.Everything interests me.Thank you. Violaine

-- Anonymous, December 21, 2002


Not knowing it is a short story makes us wonder if you intend reading it? The story does make it appear straightforward that this perosn competing with and resmebling our narrator is a real person. This is one time when the lack of outside observation is irritating to understanding the story. The confusion and obsession and vagueness is taken right into the Dorian Gray like ending. Perhaps in comparing it to Ligiea will remove this twin transformation dilemma a little. The person obssessed with the other loses all normal perception and enters a heightened state where the extraordinary resolves itself in horror.

When Ligeia is resurrected it is an embodied ghost perhaps of the imagination but what is only necessary is entering into the narrator's state of mind. William Wilson is another self destruction story where the fear of losing one's identity(good teenage theme)follows a lifelong path of obsession and self-fulfullment of that fear. Imp of the Perverse, Black Cat, Tell-Tale Heart etc. are all about the extreme obsession as THE overwhelming force, emotional state and fate of the hyper sensitive individual. Blaming the unwitting cause,the victim. Self destruction and total concentration put on the experiencing the power of the personal emotions. Nowhere more close and intimate and a vertigo of suffocating inverted psychology than in William Wilson.

I wish I had the Mabbott book on the stories. There are many articles and ficitional imitators of this modernized doppleganger story if you search them out.

-- Anonymous, December 21, 2002

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