Double is Trouble
Stories of the double — whether stories of twins, of look-alikes or of double inhabitants of a single split personality like Jekyll and Hyde — appeal to us all. In the author, presumably, as well as in the reader, they release tensions between divided aspects of being. Margaret Laurence uses the twin-motif in A Jest of God1 subtly but persistently. Using it, she keys into an archetypal force like that released through folklore or myth. From the time we meet the ‘Venusian twins’, silver-blonde images of seductive young femininity, through the moment when we hear about the unmarried girl who has given birth to twins (‘twice as reprehensible as one’) we move toward a central focus on the mystery of Nick Kazlik’s twinship: a correlative of the doubleness in Nick — and in many other aspects of the rich, mysterious, funny world that Margaret Laurence created in this novel.
KeywordsHyde Metaphor Verse Folk Percolate
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- 1.Margaret Laurence, A Jest of God (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1966).Google Scholar
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