I Am the Other: Literary Negotiations of Human Cloning

By Maria Aline Salgueiro Seabra Ferreira | Go to book overview
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The Eternity of the Same:
Human Cloning and Its Discontents

We're incubating monsters, you know. Dr. Frankenstein will be here
on the next train.

Pamela Sargent, Cloned Lives, 63

In this chapter I will look at a cluster of clone narratives that address some of the complex psychological dynamics operating within clone groups. In these texts the members of the groups of cloned people are described as practically interchangeable, as sharing one single personality among them. It is this uncanny feeling the clones give rise to—of the repetition of the same, as if one were observing the vivid concretization of the repressed fantasy of the return of one's feared (and at the same time desired) double—that is likely to create sentiments of anxiety and foreboding in those who witness it. Indeed, according to Baudrillard, cloning does away with "the possibility of alterity and of a dual relation" (The Vital Illusion, 13). Pursuing this line of enquiry, it is pertinent to ask, Will the cloned person feel threatened by the knowledge that he or she will have exactly the same genetic makeup as his or her parent and might thus grow up to be an almost exact copy of that person? Where, then, is room for individual growth, recreation, self-building?1 The biological determinism versus social constructionism argument suggests that in spite of the same genetic material two or more people sharing that same biological makeup will nevertheless


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I Am the Other: Literary Negotiations of Human Cloning


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