Das Leben ist ein Rätsel

Beiträge mit Schlagwort ‘Doppelganger’

What about mirrors in „Too Many PinkyPies“

Those who know me in person know that I have a fable for mirrors in Literature and especially movies and TV shows. My first term paper was about the mirror in Dracula and Jekyll and hyde and I kept doing it (for Bloody Mary in Supernatural and Ghostwhisperer, and in my bachelor Thesis in Snow White) so of course I had to take a look at the MLP episode of „Too many PinkyPies“ and the mirror-lake she uses to duplicate herself.
This again goes also into Doppelganger theory, for that topic please take a look at my last article „What about Cadence and Queen Chrysalis“

So thinking about mirrors and theory on mirrors:

First of all: You wouldn’t believe how much there is to say about mirrors! I my BA thesis I have like 10 Pages solely dedicated to them and their different real, cultural and psychological values so I can’t simply copy my thesis here and I can’t explain everything in detail. I’ll try my hardest to put things in a nutshell as well as I can and stick only to the stuff I need for the analysis. Still this will be a rather long article.

Observations on the real mirror (I talk about the plain, not bended mirror here!):
1. The mirror works as a prosthesis in the way that they broaden our field of vision (which is the origin of many believes linked to the mirror I will come to later)
2. The mirror is expected to show us the ‚truth‘ (Umberto eco „Über Spiegel“), meaning we trust in what they show us.
3. When talking about mirrors we use a language that makes it seem as if there was another reality in the reflection (the term ‚mirror inverted‘ or saying the ‚left becomes right and right becomes left‘ for example) (again from Umberto Ecos „Über Spiegel“)

Mirrors and Culture (all infos from:Hildenbrock in „Das andere Ich“) :
1. The mirror shows the true self/soul of a person
2. A soul of a dead person can be trapped in a mirror
3. The reflections the should thus destroying the reflection equals destroying the soul
4. Show deformities in the nature of a person

Lacans Mirror-Stage Theory (Book used: Lacan, Jacques. Das Spiegelstadium als Bildner der Ichfunktion, wie sie
uns in der psychoanalytischen Erfahrung erscheint, in: Schriften I.):
The theory basically and very easily said states that children from 6 months onwards start recognizing themselves in a mirror. Children then see themselves for the first time as a whole, single being, not connected to the mother and also not only fragments of itself.
This helps building the social self (Lacan describes as „je“), the child realizes others see it like it can see itself in the mirror and so it starts recognizing that its actions have a social impact on others (Children cry to get the attention from their mothers or to get what they want). In contrast to that would be the ego, so my personal view on my self with me wanting and doing what I do without taking others into account.

Mirroring:

Very simply put it means someone or something ‚mirrors‘ something else. Just what it sais basically. In her essay „Magic Mirror in Snow White“ Nancy Van den Berg-Cook explains how important mirroring is for children but on a smaller scale for adults. Parents need to mirror their children’s actions that they can learn what is right and what’s wrong. So when a child smiles, and the mother smiles the child will understand that it’s smiling can make others smile and it’s a good thing. If a child is neglected in this aspect it is likely to form a narcissistic personality disorder.

Ok I hope that was enough for mirrors and not too much either ^^

but let’s also check out mirrors and doppelganger ^^

1. Mirrors, like doppelgangers show the true nature of the protagonist, or rather is dark desires, which they try to hide but cannot suppress.

2. Since the reflection is the soul and the doppelganger is the reflection he represents a part of the soul.

3. Doppelganger helps in identity crisis and character growth, just like the mirror helps fixing external flaws and according to superstitions also show flaws of the soul.

4. That the soul gets a body in a mirror includes that as a reflection it has a body and can be hurt, this means smashing of the mirror will in fact attack the other self.

5. Lacans Theory: ego and Je, are now divided into first and second self. (usually the mirror is the ego and the first self the Je)

6. Additionally the moral deficiencies like the First Selfs fear to be unaccepted by society the doppelgänger are shown by mirrors. This way it works as a mirror on how others see them, or might see them if they knew about these character traits.

-> The mirror becomes a tool to help the first self to overcome anxieties and to unite the ego and the Je

Ok now let’s take a look at „Too many Pinky pies“
Sadly I couldn’t find single clips from the episode that would be helpful to re watch it if it has been some time ^^

So basically the story is about how PinkyPie figures she can’t have fun with everyone at the same time since ponies do stuff in different locations. Not being able to decide what to do she remembers a nursery rhyme from her Nana to a „mirror pond“ where she can clone herself.
The clone is all about fun but has no memory of anything, and it runs into the same problem PinkyPie ran into, not being unable to decide between two fun things. So real Pinky brings her clone to the pool and now there is 4 and 3 of those then clone again without Pinkie wanting them to do so.
In the end the Fun-Zombie Pinkies drive Ponyville crazy only the real Pinky gets all depressed because she herself has become unsure about her identity as PinkyPie. She suggests to Twilight who found a spell to send the clones back but has the problem she could accidentily send back the wrong Pinky as well a test so boring only the real Pinky could pass it. This test is watching Paint dry, and in the end all clones get send back, Pinky realizes its Ok to have to choose and sometimes even to just relax alone.

Analysis:

Ok now let’s take a look on what we can deduce from that!
First Pinky is in a state of crisis because she wants to have Fun (her Je talking) with all her friends but can’t do that, she needs more of herself.
Her clone is shown as a look-alike, so it’s a doppelganger and a very clearly only ego, it has not social knowledge what soever. And apparently they don’t care, all they want is to have fun.

Pinky has to teach her clones about her friends

Pinky has to teach her clones about her friends

Pinky on the other hand is in this episode described as Pony who does care about her friends well being (she is extra careful to let RD have some peace and quiet at the lake) and in „A friend in Deed“ we get to know how dependably she can be and how great her memory is. She is very much a social Pony, but in this episode her ego is about to overpower her.
The clones are her reflection so it is part of her soul… this is kind of disturbing thinking about the scene where all the clones are sent back into the Pond…but I would interpret their returning to the pool rather as the reunion of ego and Je for Pinky, her learning the lesson and solving her identity problem.
So back to the mirror: The mirror very clearly works as for Pinky as a prothesis, at least that is her initial goal. She wants to see and experience stuff she otherwise couldn’t, having Mirror-Pinky go to AJs Barn-Raise and experiencing the fun. As we see this does not work out the way it was planned but that’s at least the original goal.
The mirror also seem to hold a kind of reality, since the reflection of Pinky can just walk out of the water, like that. Also the other Pinkies are ’sent back‘ which also makes it sound like there is some actual space in the reflection of the Pond which your soul, at least the ego Part of it, enters and than can exit after saying the right words.
Now I want to come to the mirroring because this is what happens to PinkyPie when things get out of hand. In „A Friend in Deed“ we get to know how annoying Pinky can be, to Cranky Doodle she probable first felt like one of her clones, some mindless thing that just annoys everyone. Also in „Too many PinkyPies“ we start of with Twilight being very annoyed by Pinky time and again. Although she is not as over the top as the other Pinkies, sometimes, to some Ponies the real one feel probably the same (we remember in „Griffon the Brush-of“ RD’s reaction to seeing Pinky…) which Pinky hardly recognises or cares about.
Seeing her clones go on rampage in the Village that much over the top mirrors her own behaviour and she can realize how this is not always good, that there is something more important than fun. Until now her ‚having-fun-trips‘ always ended well, unlike in this scenario. She also sees the limits of mindlessly going on a fun rampage for the first time observing everyponies reactions as a bystander.
We see this realization in the very end where she, instead of trying hard to have fun with everyone simply goes to sleep.
Worst thing happening is her loosing faith in her identity

she is not sure she is herself...

she is not sure she is herself…

She was not really in an identity crisis before but her clones actually brought one upon her. Although to the viewer it is clear she is the real one, since she has memories of her friends and actually something else on the mind than fun, but even in the image of herself she seems to think she is nothing but a fun-zomby which is why she can’t identify herself anymore.
The Test is a way to acertain herself, and it works. Seeing how her clones are only her „Je“ which is not interested in social relatrions they have no reason to stay focused like the real PinkyPie has, wanting to keep her bonds she made with her friends.

the clones watch paint dry

the clones watch paint dry

So yeah interesting concept ^^ I LOVED the episode it’s one of my favourites (next to „Party of One“ 😉
Hope it was interesting for you guys ^^

Works cited:

Drydan, Linda. The Modern Gothic and Literary Doubles. Palgrave Macmillam. Basingstoke. 2003. Print

Eco, Umberto. Über Spiegel und andere Phänomene. trans. Burkhart Kroe ber. Hanser. München. 1988 . print

Hildenbrock, Aglaja. Das andere Ich. Stauffenburg Colloquium, Tübingen. 1986. Print

van den Berg-Cook, Nancy. “The Magic Mirror in Snow White” cgjung- vereniging.nl. C.G. Jung Vereinigung Nederland. 2006

von Franz, Marie-Louise. Spiegelungen der Seele. Kösel-Verlag. München.

What about Cadence and Queen Crysalis?

I know there is LOTS of talk going on about those too and I’m not even reading in any kind of forum. There is talk about whether Cadence makes any sence, being an alicorn and stuff and how dump the use of the changelings was (I LOVE changelings but they just ruined it…) and why and why not etc.
So no reason for you to read that up in my blog just getting another stupid opinion and this is NOT what this will be about

(though in short: it doesn’t work, Changelings should go into an open war especially if they feed on love! They should have done the same as the queen, the whole force shield also makes no sense since… well the queen managed to get it, why would she go in alone, if it was before the shield came up? MAKES NO SENSE!
This just as a side note ^^)

So let’s come to my initial topic I want to write about here: Doppelganger motif!
I did a lot of analysis on this topic in my studies (for „Supernatural’s“ „bloody Mary“ episode, for „Clueless“ for „Snow White“ movie adaptations“) so I really want to use the theory on Cadence and Chrysalis and see whether it works or not.

Doppelganger:

In literature and modern media the doppelganger is an often-used motif when the fight of a character with his self is portrayed. In her book „The Modern gothic and Literary Doubles“ Drydan calls the original person the “first self” and the double “second self”, for simplicity this paper will do it the same way.
Three things define the doppelganger. Usually the second self is a look-alike of the first self. Though in most cases the doppelganger can still be distinguished from
the first self, be it by looks, behaviour or the way they dress. This highlights the second aspect that defines the doppelganger: The personality. The second self incorporates the dark desires and wishes of the first self. This is also the part that makes the second self the monster. The dark side not only reflects the protagonist’s sense of otherness but of the culture the story originates in.
„Through his appearance, he brings to light the first self’s urge for something which is never c1early specified, which, however has been strong enough to inspire the First Self with a compensatory thirst for knowledge and power.“ (Drydan 2003 p. 29)
The first self has to fight the second self to truly become compatible with the society they live in. The third aspect that defines the doppelganger is the identity thread by invading the personal sphere of the first self. The doppelganger tries to steal the life of the first self which forces the them to find a new identity. As Drydan puts it:
„This inability of the First Self to get a firm grasp on his own identity will be seen to be a basic element of all the later double stories.“ (Drydan 2003 p. 33)
And this is what really defines the doppelganger, the role it has in the process of self-realization of the first self, fighting the dark desires and bad personality traits and
accepting that they are part of them.
„Identifiable as an allegorical agent, the Second Self is shown to as sume visible form exclusively in order to force the First Self to embark on the process of self-realization.“ (Drydan 2003 p. 49)
The doppelganger is the incorporation of the other and just as Faulstich explains the other can never be something totally unknown, but reflects a part of the self (Faulstich 96 S. 420). He explains the other as something that is immanent in the culture; something the culture or society is afraid of and thus has to cope with it. As the incorporation of the dark side the doppelganger is a primary example for the other inside.

Ok I know MLP is not a Horror story like „Jekyll and Hyde“ or „The picutre of Dorian grey“ but actually doppelganger can appear in other formats as well. For example in „Clueless“ (if you want the in depth thing on that post it in the comments and it will come ^^)
And clearly Chrysalis meets the aspects of a Doppelganger: She is a look-alike of Cadence, at least for the most time in the two episodes.
Also she is a threat to cadence, she does invade Cadences life and tries to steal it from her, even more important in the story she steels the love of the ’special somepony‘ from Cadence
Cadence has to fight Chrysalis. It can’t be anyone but her as we see Celesttia and even the magic of friendship fail. She has to do so to show she is worthy of being called a princess and that she indeed is an important part of society.
And lastly it’s a tool for identification and personal growth of the First Self, and yes we do see Cadence grow because of this. We can suspect that she never used such powers before (knowing she used to be a pegasus and all).

After seeing that indeed we have a doppelganger before us I want to stretch what makes a good analysis here a little difficult in contrast to the ones I deed before:
1. Cadence: We know too little about the Cadence before Chrysalis appears. It is hard to see what the identity problem used to be and what exactly the dark desired might have been, not seeing how Cadence used to be. Except for that little ‚best foal sitter evaaaar‘ scene and the infos we get from Twilight… I can just deduce from how Chrysalis behaves
2. Chrysalis: As little as we know about Cadence we know about Chrysalis. How did she meet Cadence? How did she take her place? That would be most interesting since usually in dppelganger stories the First self in one way or another summoned their second self (Jekyll took the position, Dorian wished for the picture to age in his stead, Sam calls Bloody Mary, The Queen uses the mirror,…).

So let’s take a look on what I do have.
Cadence and Chrysalis are, reduced to their core, two looks on love. Cadence is the warm and kind love that conquers everything as we know it from any Disney movie. Chrysalis on the other hand is an egoistic love. She just wants to use the people who love her, manipulating them to her hearts content.
When considering what a doppelganger represents: the dark wishes of the first self“ this gives a new look on Cadence. Has she actually thought about using the love others have for her to her advantage? Most certainly not to the extent Chrysalis does but maybe she had a fight with Shining Armor once and thought he should do as she said since he loves her.


We have a similar problem for the mane six, they are not the perfect embodiment of their elements and regularly have to overcome opposite feelings to what they represent. Apple Jack lies when she didn’t make first place, Pinky Pie stops laughing in „Party of One“, Rarity rather is awed upon by the Canterlot ponies than doing the dress for Twilight, etc.. So why shouldn’t Cadence have a trial like that too? Though it does destroy this perfect picture we have of Cadence it does make sense.
Before she can become the Princess of the Crystal Empire she needs to overcome any kind of selfishness, using her love purely for others and not her self.
Seeing how Chrysalis acts we actually can assume that Cadence used to always hide her true thought. When she didn’t like a dress she would smile and say it way beautiful and eat the stuff she actually doesn’t like. Her doppelganger (ok she does lie to apple Jack… which is kinda weird to me)does all this although she has no reason to. In the „Aria of the day“ she states how she doesn’t care about the dress and the ceremony. So why be so picky about it? It doesn’t make sense inside the story but if we assume that she is like this in her role of a doppelganger, showing the dark feelings of Cadence it does make sense.
Cadence is locked away by her other self. She probably was down there for a long time and had time to think about what Chrysalis would do, using her image.
Going with the doppelganger theory this would be the time span were she realizes her own faults in this matter and want to fight her alter Ego, Which she can’t until she is freed by Twilight. Than she comes in,ruining the wedding of her alter ego and battles her. Well and I already said my opinion on that at the beginning.

Love Spell

I know some of the stuff sounds like head cannon, like Cadence being selfish and using her love for manipulation and stuff and I don’t really have anything to prove it since I don’t have any information on what happened. Of course storyline speaking she could simply have been overpowered by Chrysalis being the nice, loving pony but
All Ponies, even princesses like Luna (not too sure yet about Celestia though) are shown to have flaws and being selfish and overpowered by that once in a while.

I wish they had shown Cadence before, making this aspect clearer. An episode where she an Shining Armor come to Ponyville to inform Twilight about the wedding for example. But we don’t have that… so I have to stick with assumptions.
Leave comments about your thoughts on this interpretation ^^

Oh and of course I will take a closer look at „too many Pinky Pies“ regarding doppelganger ^^ some time in the future ^^

Works cited:

Drydan, Linda. The Modern Gothic and Literary Doubles. Basingstoke: palgrave mac-millam, 2003

Faulstich, Werner: Zwischen Exotic, Heil und Horror, [Hrsg] Hess-Lüttich, Ernest W. B. Fremdverstehen in Sprache, Literatur und Medien, , Frankfurt am Main [u.a.], Lang, 1996