Dual Personalities and Alter Egos

Manu Garikipati & Aditi Mukund


Medical Term: Dissociative Identity Disorder

The definition of a dual personality is a mental disorder when a person alternates between two personalities and while each personality is conscious, it is not aware of the other.

We have all experienced dissociation at some point in our lives when we daydream, or get lost in the moment, but patients with dissociative identity disorder completely removes one personality’s thoughts and emotions from another personality in the same body. This dissociation is continuous.

Those affected by Dissociative Identity Disorder experience these multiple personalities as a coping mechanism to escape from a trauma or event that happened in their lives.
My Husband, My Kids and My Multiple Personalities
Dr. Phil - "I Tried to Kill my Alter-Ego."

----Alter Ego----

An alter ego is a person’s secondary “being” that is distinct from their original and primary self. This theme of alter egos is very prevalent in late Victorian literature. In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde are two separate individuals who represent good and evil in society. This battle between good and bad is usually always purposefully blurred in order to foreshadow that both “individuals” are indeed the same person.
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In regards to the novel, It is said that Dorian Grey is Oscar Wilde’s alter ego. At the start of the novel, Dorian is in control of his sexuality, popular, handsome, and well liked while in real life, Wilde is the opposite. He feels less masculine because of his sexual orientation, he deals with rumors and is jailed for expressing and staying true to himself. In the novel itself however, this theme of evil vs good ties in to the main idea of how individuals in the Victorian society deal with the internal conflict of evil thoughts and beliefs while externally putting on a front of good conservative values. Homosexuality vs heterosexuality can also be seen within the novel where Dorian has a homosexual relationship with Basil as well as a heterosexual relationship with Sibyl. This bisexuality is a quite literal example of the duality that exists within the book.

Dorian and Basil

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Dorian and Sibyl

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