International Journal of English Literature and Culture

International Journal of English Literature and Culture

Vol. 3(7), pp. 215-222, July, 2015

 ISSN: 2360-7831

DOI: 10.14662/IJELC2015.058

Research Paper

A Double Universe: The Doppleganger and the Angst of an Uncanny World in John Osborne’s play The World of Paul Slicky


Saranya Mukherjee


Guest Lecturer (Department of English) for P.G.Students in St. Paul’s Cathedral Mission College.MA, M.Phil.(English Dept.), University of Calcutta. E-mail: trinayani.mukhopadhyay3@gmail.com


Accepted 13 July 2015



An in-depth psychological study of plays and protagonists of John Osborne gives a primeval notion of an uncanny alienation. The theory is partially based on Sigmund Freud’s notion of Das Unheimliche, which he discusses in The Uncanny first published in Imago, 1919. Freud’s essay is grounded on analyses of Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann’s story. The present study would delve deep into the notion of angst and the reason of the anxiety that almost all Osborne-Protagonist suffer. Before analyzing the play under discussion, namely, The World of Paul Slicky the paper, in its introductory pages would deal with the notion of Doppleganger and uncanny which are the two fundamental theoretical tools to establish the argument. In the following paper it will be shown, how they are related to Osborne’s protagonists; how the plays are but a mere way to express the fuming self of the double-folded psyche of a crossed mind. How the known notions’ evaporation leads to the temporal fragmentation getting its fuel from the anxiety that causes the angst and its aberrations and hence split in concerned characters. How the people live a double life, being their own Doppleganger in a mininarratival society. The micro-politics in the mini-narratives are conspicuous: the polytonal mode of the play is laid bare in the respective characters revealing their clandestine relationships. The cluttered scatological representations of the ‘world’ Slickey belongs to, are interesting in the sense that they open up again the notion of, first the ‘uncanny’ and secondly the motif of the Doppelganger.


Key Words: primeval, uncanny, alienation, angst, Osborne-Protagonist, Doppleganger, polytonal, mininarratival, scatological.


“One always finds one’s burden again.”  (Camus 3)


Cite This Article As: Mukherjee S(2015). A Double Universe: The Doppleganger and the Angst of an Uncanny World in John Osborne’s play The World of Paul Slicky . Inter. J. Eng. Lit. Cult. 3(7): 215-222



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