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Dissociation of literacy characters : the use of "the double" as a defense mechanism in Ayckbourn's Woman in Mind, Friel's Philadelphia Here I Come!, and Shaffer's Equus

Ertin, Serkan
“Dissociative Identity Disorder”, also known as split or multiple personality disorder, made its appearance in literature in the form of ‘the double’, a projected dual personality. Ralph Tymms is believed to be the first to use the psychological provenance of the double as a literary device. To date, many publications have been made on Dissociative Identity Disorder, and many literary works dealing with ‘the double’ have been published. However, the subject of the double, in all its literary and psychological manifestations, has not yet found the sufficient research and up-to-date study that it deserves. This paper ventures to study some of the links between Modern British Drama and Clinical and Social Psychology. It analyses the fact that although people adopting Dissociative Identity Disorder as a defence mechanism against social and personal constrictions are viewed outside the norms of personality structure, this practice allows them to create a personal space and a personal voice in the conditions they find themselves in. To this end, the characters Susan, Gareth, and Alan in the plays Woman in Mind, Philadelphia, Here I Come!, and Equus, written by Alan Ayckbourn, Brian Friel, and Peter Shaffer, respectively, will be studied.