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'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is not just the story of a brilliant but flawed man who succumbs to temptation, it is also the story of a man who is a victim of his own society and culture.'

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Introduction

Vishal Sookur 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is not just the story of a brilliant but flawed man who succumbs to temptation, it is also the story of a man who is a victim of his own society and culture.' In 'The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' it seems that an upstanding gentleman is pressured by his society and own endeavours into ultimately separating the apparent bodies of good and evil. However the cause of the eventual, tragic demise of Dr Jekyll is rather complex and it is not enough to excuse his actions by placing the blame solely upon the restrictive society of late Victorian London. There seem to be other significant factors that can explain Jekyll's actions and depict his character more clearly therefore providing a wider spectrum for determining as to what extent he is a victim or not. As one is given a description of what life in London was like for a man of such high status a sense of sympathy is developed towards Jekyll's plight and also upon reading his 'Full Statement of The Case' the ...read more.

Middle

Then when we come to hear of Dr Jekyll having a very prestigious position in society and dignified reputation it seems as though he is held captive by such fortune. For very many years he has repressed his urges and subdued his taste for pleasure and so this portrays an extremely grave life and one of little joy. Jekyll's only form of liberation was to have two bodies; one in which to satisfy his pleasures and one in which he could hide from them as the respectable doctor whose reputation would never tarnish. Taking only this into account it does seem as though he is a man imprisoned within his reputation and forced to take this course of action. Society is to blame up to an extent. Upon realising that Jekyll had carried out the senseless, brutal murder of Sir Danvers Carew in which the victim was trampled and bludgeoned to death until the bones were audibly crushed, it is rational to immediately condemn his actions. Society may have driven him to conceal his pleasures within a separate body but by no means does the social restriction excuse Jekyll's need for such evil a crime. ...read more.

Conclusion

Henry Jekyll aimed to create a separate body free of social pressure and accomplished this; ironically the thing that was to liberate him led to his own imprisonment and ultimately his death. It is tragic that the society and its pressures led him to his fatal discovery, however many of those pressures were Jekyll's own need for utmost respectability and subdued wish for 'undignified pleasures'. The duality within himself forced the suppression of the evil but when it became unbearable his pleasures verged towards more than just the 'undignified' but the 'monstrous'; for example the brutal murder of Sir Danvers Carew which one cannot help but feel disgusted and contempt for Hyde, who it is revealed, is Jekyll. Jekyll's subconscious evil intent meant that he procured evil and despite the circumstances I believe that Jekyll was a victim of his own need for two lives both of which were extreme in nature and the society which restricted him was not responsible for the eminently evil that he brought forward. ...read more.

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