The analysis of the short story “William Wilson” by Edgar Allan Poe shows that it follows a linear, chronological plot structure. The narrative appears to follow two people in a permanent conflict with each other. However, it gradually becomes obvious that the two characters are actually the same person and the conflict is internal.
The main character in the story is William Wilson, and his double. They are in fact the same person, as they represent different sides of William’s personality. William constantly rejects his double’s positive influence.
The physical setting of the story is mainly England, with the last scene taking place in Rome, Italy. The action takes place over the course of several decades.
The story is told from the point of view of a first-person narrator. The narrator recounts past memories, sometimes with nostalgia. The narrator is unreliable, due to his insanity.
The language is formal. The narrator addresses the reader directly, especially at the beginning, giving the impression of a death bed confession.
You can read a more detailed analysis in the following sections.