As this is a concluding section, conventionally I should summarise and repeat what has preceded it, hence the preceding paragraph. Yet, if this essay were to continue with the discussed concepts of the uncanny and mirror theory, it should in some way be different – unfamiliar – as the double is a constant reminder that one is always a stranger to oneself. represent a weakening of power due to the realisation of certain unwelcome truths that it can provide. In many of her letters and diaries, Coleridge is seen to challenge the connection between mirrors and self-reflections in her final essay Non Sequitur.
‘It is to see ourselves as others see us,’ she writes, ‘that we provide ourselves with looking-glasses, that we have our portraits painted and our photographs taken’. A similar notion is enhanced in The Picture of Dorian Gray , with the portrait of the main protagonist visibly reflecting the corruption and aging of his soul, gradually metamorphosing from something beautiful into its ugly double. Coleridge suggests in the poem Gathered Leaves that one looks into mirrors as a way of looking in on oneself from the outside. This idea is also presented by Mulvey, describing film as the modern day equivalent of a mirror from Lacan’s Mirror Stage Theory in order to create identity and to identify with one’s perfect double. Undeniably, the mirror image emphasises the superficial and feeble quality of our chosen masks, with Coleridge writing about how we wear them for other people, ultimately ending up with us losing ourselves.
The gradually increasing difference of the double is used by Wilde to enhance the lack of morality and the narcissistic qualities of Dorian Gray, a beautiful young man, after offering his soul in return for an eternity of youth. The idea of narcissism becomes interesting when referring to twins because from my experience, we are always watching ourselves and how others see us in order to prevent mistaken identity. In the case of Dorian Gray, though it is not a story about twins, there is the distressing notion and horror of Dorian watching his own image age. Eventually, similar to the myth of Narcissus, Dorian falls foul of the consequences of egotism, by destroying the picture in a fit of anger, inadvertently killing himself.
Joan Copjec explores a subject’s hostility towards its mirror image through the theory of narcissism. She states that Lacanian narcissism requires a new meaning, one more similar to Freud’s idea of narcissism; it cannot purely be defined by the satisfaction and love one feels towards one’s own visual image. Copjec suggests that the hostility one feels towards one’s own image continues throughout the subject’s life as the subject continues to believe that the image is more flawed than itself I, on the other hand, use my sister’s image to compare to my own in order to focus on my flaws. Masao Miyoshi, in his study The Divided Self, describes the double as a mode of self-creation similar to how I