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Poes Use of Doubles in Dream States Doublings and feelings of de ja vu exist in life everywhere Yet when coincidences become too much to believe one questions if the experience is really happening or if it is a dream In The Black Cat and William Wilson Poe uses doubling to illustrate the dream-like state in which these stories take place William Wilsons double is also named William Wilson The two Wilsons meet as children in school Each time Wilson found something else about the other Wilson that resembled himself he became angrier He realized we were of the same age but I saw that we were of the same height and I perceived that we were even singularly alike in general contour of person and outline of feature Poe 309 Wilson believed the double was purposely imitating him The double wore the same clothing as Wilson He also imitated Wilsons walk and speech The double however could not speak above a whisper Yet Wilson and his double were otherwise exactly alike in appearance The Black Cat has more subtle instances of doubling The night the narrator kills the first black cat he owned there is a fire in the mans house When he returns to the ruins of his home he finds only one wall was not consumed in flames On that wall was a perfect image of the cat he hung He reasons that during the fire the animal must have been cut from the tree and thrown through an open window into my chamberThe falling of the other walls had compressed the victim of my cruelty into the substance of the freshly-spread plaster the lime of which with the flames and the ammonia from the carcass had then accomplished the portraiture Poe 1991 111 This is not a realistic explanation for something truly uncanny that has happened Yet the narrator accepts this explanation since there is no
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