The purpose of a doppelganger in W.S by L.P Hartley is to act as a representation of Walter Streeter, his other self but a character with a split personality.
The story begins with Walter receiving strange postcards from an anonymous addresser, at first he was uninterested in the postcards, these postcards did not have any threats or harm attached to them but the tone portrayed by the narrator was criticizing and ironical which made Walter feel uneasy, after consulting his friend on the post cards who suggested that it could be a woman who was a stalker or admirer.
The Author teases the reader by saying “it looks like a man’s writing” and “the criticizing was like a man’s” but drags us back to believing it was an admirer by saying “on the other hand it was like a woman to brobe” again we become curious if it is a female admirer or his own doppelganger
This admirer is given its own character known as W.S as a way of showing the extreme of the split personality and it is portrayed as another person because the character doesn’t undergo changes and doesn’t reveal various sides of a personality, Walter reflects on the character he had created and compares these characteristics to his own and the conclusion we can make from it is he is sensitive and self-criticizing. There is a conflict between Walter and this stranger but more so the conflict coming from welter who had made conclusions about the postcards and their meaning this shows how harsh and critical he was on himself.
Walter felt that the writer of the post card was offending his writing “although someone had taken hold of his personality and was pulling it apart” again here it is possible to see signs of split personality, although there is no direct mentioning of it but the change in Walter writing shows the change in his emotional state the story starts at stage one of the condition which starts with the first postcards and then the second postcard which describes him feeling anxious the story then continues until the third postcard where he started paying close attention to the initials signed W.S, which were the same initials as his own and the postcards had a location that was drifting nearer to his address after every postcard, each postcard described signs of his emotional and mental state in the moment and how it deteriorates throughout from first to fourth postcard
The narrator’s viewpoint is the only one expressed which allows the reader to formulate his own view on weather this is an admirer or if it is Walters doppelganger