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The Besieged EgoDoppelgangers and Split Identity Onscreen$
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Caroline Ruddell

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748692026

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748692026.001.0001

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(p.124) Conclusion
The Besieged Ego

Caroline Ruddell

Edinburgh University Press

Doppelgangers, doubles and characters that are ‘in trouble’ with their identity is a prominent feature of the moving image across a range of contexts and historical moments. The conclusion acknowledges that in an industrial context, split characters are a dramatic device that provides narrative structure as well as stylistic content and the opportunity for fanciful visual special effects. In the films discussed throughout this book, drama and spectacle is often promoted by the internal psychological make-up of split characters and their inter-relationships with others and intra-relationships with themselves; the texts literalise concerns and issues about essential definitions of who we are. However, the range and variety of texts that deal with unstable identities through splitting is testimony to the fact that meanings are not fixed in terms of identity representation in media, particularly across genres. Contemporary understandings of identity, subjectivity and the ‘human’ is currently represented or mediated onscreen in a range of genres through fragmentary characters. This suggests unrest regarding what it might mean to be ‘human’, and what is at stake in terms of establishing and maintaining an identity within a particular cultural context.

Keywords:   genre, subjectivity, narrative

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