The Personality Disorder: Narcissism Essay

1850 Words 8 Pages
The personality disorder, narcissism, was named after the Greek mythological figure Narcissus. The myth goes that Narcissus was so indulged in self-love that he gazed and fell in love with his own mirror image, refusing to leave he died beside his own reflection. In “The Double” by Dostoevsky, the protagonist too suffers from narcissism, an obsession with his own self. This self-obsession manifests itself as he finds himself reflected by the life around him, driving himself mad over the lack of control and grief of these reflections. Mirrors, Golyadkin’s doppelganger and society are all elements of mirror that looms over this internal conflict. As Golyadkin exclaimed, “I’m my own executioner!”(89) For Golyadkin his own refusal to fully …show more content…
For society reflects back his own identity and his action in it only serves his own ego.
This obsession with impression management explains his tendency for paranoia and self-imposed isolation. In many cases Golyadkin would avoid the judgment of others by hiding himself. He knows it is impossible for him to control their reactions towards him. In his carriage he would “lowered both windows of the carriage and began looking anxiously to left and right at the people in the street.” (7) Ironically, despite the carriage being another one of his instruments to make people view him as a person of status, he is more afraid of the uncertainty of their judgments. Golyadkin often justify his isolation saying that he “like(s) peace and quiet,” (11) however his desire and action says the contrary. The narrator writes, “sometimes he would dream that he was in the splendid company of people celebrated for their breeding and wit.” (94) If dreams show subconscious desires, this reveals that Golyadkin craves to be surrounded by people. This is made impossible because of Golyadkin lacks the basic socializing skills. His longing for companion however is only a service to his own ego, as he desires not specific individuals but a reflection of social respect in himself, “their breeding and wit.” This egocentric desire for people extends to his love for Klara Olsufyevna, a ‘fraulein’ of wealth and

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