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Analyse the methods by which Stevenson presents the duality of man in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

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Introduction

Analyse the methods by which Stevenson presents the duality of man in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Robert Louis Stevenson's novella, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde explores the duality of man; the good and the bad sides of human nature. The novella presents to us the psychomachic struggle of Jekyll trying to regain power of himself; however Jekyll's attempts to do so fail. As a result Jekyll regresses into an uncontrollable grotesque monster: Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll, a respectable noble man who had an "honourable and distinguished future" had always had problems with his multiple personalities. As a consequence, Jekyll wanted to hide one of his personalities, the evil side, from the "public eye". Due to this, Jekyll, a scientist, conjures up a potion to separate both sides of his personality. However, his potion does not work according to plan and he is left with his evil side, over powering and dominating him. Jekyll's evil side (known as Mr. Hyde) soon over-powers Jekyll completely, leaving Jekyll with no power over the switches. The structure of the novella is successful in sustaining the mystery of the novella owing to the fact that we as readers do not realize the nature of the mystery till the very end; that infact Dr. ...read more.

Middle

Hyde's presence is sickening; whoever is around Hyde is immediately sickened and disturbed, showing us that Hyde is not very nice to be around. Others are aware of his abhorrent behavior almost like a sixth sense. Victorians believed in phrenology strongly so Hyde being ugly and having a deformity made him in their eyes an evil being. Hyde did not fit in Victorians idea of how God created man, also making them believe Hyde was Satanic. Victorians also believed that if someone was ugly their nature would be bad. In this case they're views were correct. Hyde is ugly on the inside and also ugly on the outside. The response to all who see/meet Hyde is important because Stevenson wants the readers to be fully aware of the extent of the evilness Hyde portrays and for the readers to realize just how much evil Hyde contains within himself. Although this evil is concealed people realize Hyde is evil just by his daunting presence. The response is important because Stevenson wants to show us that whoever is approached by Hyde is immediately disgusted. He made people feel uncomfortable; "it went down my spine like ice". ...read more.

Conclusion

However, Jekyll only unleashes his evil side. As a cause of his experiment Dr. Jekyll begins to feel "very low" knowing that he can no longer control his evil side making his problem worse. As the novella draws to an end Henry Jekyll realizes that he can no longer go on as Hyde; being evil. He realizes he will have to die; "this is my true hour of death". He knows that Hyde is getting out of control and is like Satan, "that child of hell had nothing human". Jekyll then commits suicide, freeing the evilness from his soul finally. The moral of the story is that everyone has a dual personality; good and bad. Jekyll could not handle the fact his evil side was over powering and monstrous so he decided to kill the evil side, he committed suicide. Only by destroying himself Jekyll finally takes power into his own hands. Also, the novella shows us how the Victorians were hypocritical and judgmental without even knowing the truth. They, as a society, were not very open to people who were ugly or deformed, immediately labeling them as evil because of their appearance. Also, this novella shows us that evil can appear at anytime and any minute and cannot be hidden. ...read more.

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