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The other William appears, his face covered, and whispers a few words sufficient to alert others to William's behavior, and then leaves with no others seeing his face.
William is haunted by his double in subsequent years, who thwarts plans described by William as driven by ambition, anger, and lust.
One night he steals into the other William's bedroom and recoils in horror at the boy's face—which now resembles his own.
William then immediately leaves the academy and, in the same week, the other boy follows suit.
Poe wrote the story very carefully and with subtlety.
Sentences are balanced, with very few adjectives, and there is little concrete imagery beyond the description of Wilson's school.
Additionally, Poe acknowledged that the idea of a story about the irritation one feels by meeting someone with the same name, thereby ruining a feeling of uniqueness, was inspired by Washington Irving's "An Unwritten Drama of Lord Byron".William eventually attends Eton and Oxford, gradually becoming more debauched and performing what he terms "mischief".For example, he steals from a man by cheating at cards.Reflected at him, he sees "mine own image, but with features all pale and dabbled in blood": apparently the dead double, "but he spoke no longer in a whisper".The narrator feels as if he is pronouncing the words: "In me didst thou exist—and in my death, see ...