Research paper - Ian Tierson 4/9/2008 Professor O'Brien...

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Ian Tierson 5/8/2009 Professor O’Brien Philosophy through Literature Final Research Paper The development of Character through a Doppelganger The term doppelganger has been used in discussion of characters for a long time. The idea of an evil twin is intriguing. The concept of two people being complete opposites has always existed as a romantic ideal, however if those two completely opposite people can be put into a situation wherein they become so extremely opposite of each other, they then become defined in relation to the other. Whether through a novel about a wizard, or through a film about a man’s internal conflict, the idealization of the complementary opposite and its influence on character, are present. Take for example the novel A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin. This novel is a coming of age story for men, following the path of a boy who is initiated ceremonially into manhood, and then proceeds to develop mentally and emotionally into a man. This change is largely facilitated by his quest to correct a mistake he makes in a childish moment. In the events of the story, he releases a creature from the shadow world. His life becomes consumed with an attempt to return this beast to the depths
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from which it came. The only way to control it is to know its true name. He spends years pursuing this creature to the ends of the earth, and in the end, he realizes that this creature is a part of him. This creature of terrible evil is the yin to his yang. He realizes that the true name of the shadow is the true name of him. Because he created this destruction, he is the monster. The only way to truly conquer this beast is to accept it as a part of him. He must, in fact, accept the evil side of himself as a part of himself in order to control it. This beast, his evil twin, must be made one with him for him to become whole. In this manner, the creature assists in Ged’s definition of himself as a man. Ged becomes so consumed with the quest to apprehend the shadow and to fix
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Research paper - Ian Tierson 4/9/2008 Professor O'Brien...

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