How does Mountfort (2018) argue that the technological doppelganger differs from its Romantic precursors?

Mountfort (2018) stated that “For Herdman this diminution of the ‘Romantic Doppelgänger’ was due to a loss of belief in the supernatural.” Romantic precursors are ideologically based on their supernatural faith and imagination before technology uprose. Since technology approached and changed common society, people turned their faith from the supernatural/ religious imagination to technology, things such as double were interpreted and studied in scientific field, in which people (doubles) and circumstances from popular contexts are designed to be explained, proved and analyzed, experimented, and accepted by the majority onscreen and offscreen.  Mountfort (2018) listed four main ideas of doubles presented the scientific breakthrough in popular culture: quantum, synchronic, synthetic and genetic. Quantum double is based on the setting of multi-universe which characters could able to access similar earth and self. “The technologization of the doppelgänger does not lessen the menace associated with its supernatural, Romantic prototype; Synchronic doubles indicates the time travel devalues even eliminates the individual uniqueness as person can be double and caused horrible consequences in self-clashing and changing the storyline in a different universe; Synthetic double presents the double anxiety when human confront humanoid who copying their masters’ lifestyle and consciousness; Finally, genetic double shows the exploitation of high technology and the commercialization of human lives (started from body tortures), like the others, it also expresses the human desire of surpassing the original self, through genetic technology. In addition, the enormous interest behind these scientific experiments and activities has pushed the engine in technology and business industries, regardless of the concern of human threats. Unlike its Romantic precursors, those “coincidental, pseudo, biological, empathetic and useful doubles” artificially surpass the traditional and contemporary lifestyle, which in the end, they only benefit the destruction of human “old” values and social, cultural and moral foundations. His dystopia universe is never similar to the Marvel, DC and Star Trek multi universes which time travel and doubles are highly celebrated and expected from the general audience. The author concerned the consequences of allowing overexploitation on high technology. Doubles, in reality, are sometimes disturbing because society’s tendency is comparation between themselves and others. Independent (2015) reported a pair of twin strangers resulted in analyzing their double’s physical appearances and seemed not pleased to their differences and never being accepted as friends on their social media. Here, without technological advances, some people still physically reject their “copycat”. In many popular movies, doubles show their power which often transcends their original self or master who used to have full control of the body/representation. Such as Tina from Black Swan(2010), David and Walter from Alien Convenant (2017) or Adelaide from US (2019). Audiences reflect their inner paradox via confronting the intense conflict between two sides of self. Therefore, technology fulfilled our fear of being replaced by a clone, rather they are living form or human android robot. Even from Ancient Egyptian interpretation, doppelgänger only welcomed by the death of the host(Avard,2019). Therefore, Mountfort’s message is to tell readers that high technology should be cautiously applied especially in scientific and national level.

References: 

Alderson, M.(2015)Twin Strangers: The website can fin your Doppelganger- But you may not be pleased with your matches. Independent. Retrieved from https://www.independent.co.uk

Avard, A.(2019) It takes two: Why doppelgänger movies are making a comeback. Games Radar. Retrieved from https://www.gamesradar.com

Mountfort, P.(2018) Science fictional doubles: Technologization of the doppelgänger and sinister science in serial science fiction TV.Journal of Science & Popular Culture, vol 1( 1) DOI: 10.1386/jspc.1.1.59_1

Sophie Tse 16912888

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