Jordan Peele: Double on US with strange facts about doppelgangers

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Jordan Peele’s US– Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Plath’s college thesis was on Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Double,” a novel about a man haunted by his doppleganger at the office. His doppleganger was a successful version of himself, the one who everyone liked because he was ingratiating, cheerful, fake, and a suck-up — your basic social-climber.

Of course, he ends up despising his double (imagine working with your own twin, yuck) before he goes mad. Some consider it Dostoyevsky’s greatest work.

Lois Duncan, the best-selling YA author who specialized in supernatural fiction, wrote “Killing Mr. Griffin,” “Hotel for Dogs,” “Summer of Fear,” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” which were made into films. She also wrote a novel (made into a TV movie) about astral projection called “Stranger with My Face,” about a young woman of color, who fought an evil doppelganger who tried to take over her life.

The doppelganger in “Stranger with My Face” was much like Adelaide’s tether in Us, malicious and jealous. It wanted to take from her — all that she had — with treachery and violence.

Jordan Peele’s Us — Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Doppelgangers may be more than just science-fiction — the physicist Brian Green wrote about parallel universes and doppelgangers in his book Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos. And a popular Scientific American article about the multiverse by Max Tegmark describes infinite selves in the multiverse: one of the key points is that the concept of parallel universes is not a metaphor.

The multiverse theory is the idea that there are infinite parallel worlds and therefore infinite versions of ourselves, so doppelgangers everywhere! If a doppleganger could travel from another universe, then you’d be face to face with your double, though hopefully, they wouldn’t try to murder you.

More from Jordan Peele

Who knows if doppelgangers are real? In Us, the dopplegangers were tethers who were ‘real’ in that, they were physical bodies who could eat, feel, love, and die. They weren’t from another dimension or the future…but shadow selves created by scientists.

According to Jung, the ‘shadow’ is our dark side, the unconscious and repressed thoughts we’re afraid to face; if we deny the existence of the dark side, the shadow grows more powerful.

"Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.  — Carl Jung"

The only way to fight the shadow is to acknowledge it and bring the tether into the light. I hope there’s a sequel to Us, I’m dying to know if the doppelgangers make peace with the surviving, privileged doubles or if it ends ultimately…in a blood bath.

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Are you a huge fan of Jordan Peele? Did you love Us? Are you terrified of the idea of having a tether? Please let us know in the comments!