Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 258
- ‘‘Young Goodman Brown’’ (1835) by Nathaniel Hawthorne concerns a newly married man who must leave home on a short journey. While walking through the woods, he encounters the townspeople engaged in a satanic ritual. This vision destroys Goodman Brown, though it is never clear whether he actually saw the things he claimed, or just imagined them.
- ‘‘The Monkey’s Paw’’ (1902) by W. W. Jacobs is the story about a Sergeant-Major who brings a monkey’s paw back from his travels in India. He presents it to the White family, who joke about its supposed power to grant the owner three wishes. The Whites’s careless wishes lead to tragedy and horror.
- ‘‘The Secret Sharer’’ (1909) by Joseph Conrad is the story of a young sea captain who knowingly harbors a stowaway on his ship. The man, who has been accused of murder, serves as a doppelganger for the young captain, and gives him the courage to stand up to his crew, even though the stowaway’s life and character remain shrouded in mystery.
- Poe’s short story ‘‘The Fall of the House of Usher’’ (1839) also explores the impulses of a deranged protagonist who entombs his sister only to find that she returns to destroy him.
- Poe’s ‘‘William Wilson’’ also deals with the lifelong confrontation of a protagonist with a mysterious doppelganger, or double.
The Turn of the Screw (1898), a novella by Henry James tells the story of ghostly apparitions seen by an English governess in Victorian mansion. Some critics interpret the hallucinations as the manifestations of a repressed mind.
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