Kyrpyta T. Hero Searching for Identity in the English Literature of the Second Half of the XIX century (on the Example of the Works by J. S. le Fanu and R. L. Stevenson)
Keywords:Keywords: Victorian literature, double, duality, rebel hero, identity, Prometheus myth, English
In this article, we aim to examine how English writers of the second half of the nineteenth century attempted to answer the question of the identity of their representative, the way they saw human nature, and the nature of good and evil in a person, in what they saw the integrity of personality, from which the ideals were repelled in search of a hero of his time. Using cultural, historical, and comparative methods, we contrasted the momentous events that influenced nineteenth-century English society with such a literary phenomenon as the revival of interest in the techniques characteristic of the Gothic novel, in particular, characters' doubles, the split personality, expressed through physicality. We have considered the reasons why the idea of the dualism of human nature became relevant in this era.
The political, economic and social shifts in the life of England in the second half of the nineteenth century caused the writers to rethink their own identities as representative of nation and humanity. Scientific discoveries, above all, the work of Darwin, forced a new look at the nature of man, his inner world. As a projection of Darwinism as well as the search for self-determination of the colonized peoples, there is a fear of degradation, which is reflected in the appearance of animal characters (the monkey-like ghost in Le Fanu's novel Green Tea, Hyde in the novel by R. L. Stevenson "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde").
The literary hero of the late nineteenth century is a multifaceted combination of archetypal images such as Prometheus, Satan, Pygmalion, and the embodiment of the idea of the dualism of human soul, in which the divine and animal principles are combined. Such a split personality is also associated with the destruction of the image of the good patriarch as the embodiment of the English nation.