The Double Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 26 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Double.
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Menal Illness and the Repressed Self

The novel depicts Golyadkin's slide into mental illness. However, it does not begin with him as sane, but as someone who is already deep into a schizophrenic episode. From the start, he shows unusual paranoia when he passes his boss in his carriage and is unusually jovial and eccentric when he goes shopping, characteristics Dostoevsky later shows are contrary to his quiet and amiable nature. In fact, Dostoevsky suggests it is his delicate disposition that is the main cause of his problems. Golyadkin is so keen to present himself as a good person he cannot cope with his friends' increasingly negative opinions towards him. Added to this is his self-imposed isolation. He likes to keep to himself so much he cannot communicate a problem which has obviously been developing for sometime. Dostoevsky shows this at the beginning when Golyadkin visits the doctor and...

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This section contains 656 words
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