But the Wilsons aren’t the only family to be stalked and menaced.
At nine, he was transferred to the more prestigious (and more expensive) Manor House School, in Stoke Newington, much further from the Allans’ home in central London.
Poe used the Manor House School as the initial setting in “William Wilson,” more or less explicitly.
What if “William Wilson” isn’t about what it’s always seemed to be about?
I’d like to float a fresh theory about “William Wilson,” which I think casts light on , too.
“William Wilson” initially appears to have an almost annoyingly obvious meaning: The man’s double is his conscience, or superego as Freudians would have it, and we’re all our own worst enemies.
Except I’m not sure we’ve ever really understood Poe’s story.The workings of the human mind and the human psyche remain by far the most important and interesting themes in Poe's fiction.He looks at this through first-person narrative, as an observer, as a perpetrator, or as a victim.In treating patients over many decades, she began to detect a distinct pattern—“an identifiable cluster of learned behaviors and emotional states”—in those patients who’d attended Britain’s elite boarding schools.The image of such education as the pinnacle of privilege has blinded us to the cruelty of the practice, she argued, characterizing the phenomenon as “socially condoned abandonment of the very young” in her 2015 book, Children who are separated from their families and put into boarding school at a tender age, she’s written, “suffer the sudden and often irrevocable loss of their primary attachments.” Even when not bullied or mistreated at school, the experience of being sent away itself may constitute a “significant trauma” that children may experience as “literally unspeakable.” “There are no words to adequately express the feeling state and so a shell is formed to protect the vulnerable self from emotion that cannot be processed,” Schaverien has said.Even the geniuses don’t always know exactly what they’re laying bare.Just take what is arguably the source material for —Edgar Allan Poe’s 1839 short story “William Wilson,” in which a young man encounters, and ultimately murders, his own uncanny double.“Whilst appearing to conform to the system, a form of unconscious splitting is acquired as a means of keeping the true self hidden.” “William Wilson” reads like a virtual case study in Boarding School Syndrome.And Poe wrote the story in part about his own experience of boarding school.So far, so standard, but what exact social issue or experience is Peele attempting to make literal?never feels like a straightforward critique of capitalism.