The White Castle Themes & Motifs

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Double or Doppelgänger

The protagonist of the novel is the narrator, or is Hoja the hero? Are they two characters or one? The two characters are look-alikes, mirror-images, or doppelgänger. This literary device functions as an alter ego, an apparition, or double of a living human being. It helps the author present a particularly complex character. The theme of the double has deep literary roots, beginning in the modern era among the German romantics, hence the frequently used German term doppelgänger. The theme or motif implies a duality of the self, in which the original self has a simultaneous awareness of being both her present self and the other who is observing her. In fact, the narrator refers to Hoja as a “spectre . . . called Hoja” (23).

The theme of the double first attained popularity in the early 18th-century works of authors, such as Jean Paul...

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This section contains 2,650 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
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