“Don’t they Say you Die if you Meet yourself?” The Experience of Human Cloning and the Description of the Self in Caryl Churchill’s A Number

Safa Badreddine


The possibility of reproducing humans through genetic engineering has stimulated one of the most controversial debates about identity in society. Talking about originality and individuality within a number of copies would seem peculiar. For these purposes, this paper focuses on the effects of this artificial reproductive experience on the clone and the cloned. It will try to underscore the way different characters perceive themselves and the manner they interact with others. In Caryl Churchill’s play A Number (2004), Bernard or B1 (the cloned son), and B2 (the clone) are caught within a dilemma of self-recognition after discovering about a cloning enterprise. Henceforth, lights will be shed on how the two boys view themselves, each other, society, and their father Salter. The study of these central characters would highlight possible definitions of identity and the manner it is modelled.   


Identity, Cloning, the Self vs Others, Individuality, Similarities and Differences.

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