What's a Doppelganger?

Kei Quinal

Reading — Advanced Level
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Doppelgänger is a German word many “double goer” and refers to a wraith or apparition that casts no shadows and is a replica or double of a living person. They were generally considered omens of bad luck or even signs of impending death – a doppelgänger seen by a person's relative or friend was said to signify that illness or danger would befall that person, while seeing one's own doppelgänger was said to be an omen of death.

Some accounts of doppelgängers, sometimes called the ‘evil twin’ suggests that they might attempt to provide advice to the person they shadow, but that this advice can be misleading or malicious. They may also attempt to plant sinister ideas in their victim’s mind or cause them confusion. For this reason, people were advised to avoid communicating with their own doppelgänger at all costs.

So where did belief in spirit doubles come from and is there any real truth to them? While many today still believe in the existence of a double self, some scientists believe the phenomenon occurs based on injuries or stimulation to certain parts of the brain which cause errors in spatial reasoning. Others believe it is the result of a vision, hallucination, or that we live in a parallel universe in which everything in this world in replicated in another dimension. Whatever the real truth behind doppelgangers, belief in the spirit double has instilled both fear and wonder in people for thousands of years.
  1. The term Doppelgänger originated from   and is believed to be a bad omen.

  2. How is a Doppelgänger a threat to a person?

  3. How is a Doppelgänger different from a real person?

  4. Why is it best to avoid meeting your Doppelgänger ?

  5. Belief in Doppelgängers can actually be refuted by science.

  6. Some scientists believe that doppelgängers may only be a result of a person's   .


Practice your writing skills by discussing the questions below

  1. Have you heard of Doppelgangers?

  2. Do you believe that meeting your doppelganger can be devastating? Why/why not?

  3. In your culture, what things or events are considered bad omens?

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