The Double in Quest to Save the Protagonist

Kalina Maleska


This essay explores the theme of the double in Umberto Eco’s The Island of the Day Before, Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Sharer and Zivko Chingo’s The Big Water. While traditionally the double is connected with the evil alter-ego of the protagonist, what brings these three works together (by an Italian, English and Macedonian author) is the fact that the treatment of the double in them is different from those traditional representations. The essay will argue that, even if it seems that the double is some kind of more evil variant than the protagonist, he is actually summoned in the three selected works by the protagonist in order to save him from loneliness or threat. Still, the levels of real existence of the double, his roles and functions are different in all three works and these aspects will come into light in their comparison. Each work is analyzed in terms of several theoretical assumptions established Chatman, Genette or Steiner, among others, and each is compared with the other two, thus producing the points of resemblance in terms of the two narrative structures that coexist in all three works.

Keywords: the double, isolation, alienation, Eco, Conrad, Chingo, ideology 

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