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Many critics describe Septimus as Clarissa's doppelganger, the alternate persona, the darker, more internal personality compared to Clarissa's very social and singular outlook. Woolf's use of the doppelganger, Septimus, portrays a side to Clarissa's personality that becomes absorbed by fear and broken down by society and a side of society that has failed to survive the War. The doubling portrays the polarity of the self and exposes the positive-negative relationship inherent in humanity. It also illustrates the opposite phases of the idea of life.