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Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

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Introduction

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde How does Stevenson present the theme of the duality of man through the characters of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde? Introduction The novella "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde" was written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886. The author was born in 1850 in Edinburgh. There are many scientific and religious aspects to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde which stem from his family, being brought up around engineers, a religious minister, scientists and a professor of philosophy. Stevenson displays his presumption of the duality of humans substantially through Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde. Presenting both as two contrasting characters upholding different mannerisms and appearances instead of using one solid character, effectively gets the message of human duality across. This idea of duality and having a good and evil side was somewhat of an interest to people in the late 19th century, as it emulated their very own society also being a fundamental concept of Gothic literature which was written at the time. Adding to this The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is an example of Gothic Fiction and relates to the Victorian society. Gothic Literature centralizes the darker side of topics involving death, decay, villains and outlooks of the supernatural, which the novella mentions. ...read more.

Middle

this may be because he is fully aware that Dr Jekyll has a connection to that door. Similarly how people in that era found it hard to believe that good corresponds with evil is in fact why Mr Utterson delves deep into the mystery of the door as he cannot see a viable connection between Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Mr Hyde is characterized as being unpleasant with slightly deformed appearances; he causes instant dislike and coldness towards him. "There is something about his appearance" this implies that although he is displeasing to the eye it's his spirit that moves people. That existence of pure evil explains why no one knows the origins of this deep dislike, Enfield declares "I never saw a man I so disliked and yet I scarce know why" Stevenson shows that people's balance of good and evil, shows through their appearance and behaviour. Someone like Mr Hyde is a seed of evil which is flourishing; people notice this and hate him on sight. This use of unexplainable dislike causes the reader just like Mr Utterson to want to explore deeper into the relationship between Jekyll and Hyde, creating even more suspense as we read on. ...read more.

Conclusion

He was not willing to accept the idea of dualism which came across in Jekyll's experiment; he was in a destructive battle between his common-sense and supernatural beliefs which brought his life to an unfaithful end. Although he is not a significant character in Stevenson's novella, his significance stems from his reaction to the idea of dual beings. Conclusion Stevenson describes the duality of the psychology of man in Jekyll's narrative. He illustrates that being duplicitous is in our human nature, and in point fact, an impression of a society that is characterised by defiance, is interpreted by his entire novella. Stevenson demonstrates that, in this civilization, there is an immense conflict taking place in the minds and lives of the Victorians between the development of scientific discovery, and perception of religion. This civilisation which separates the impoverished and the wealthy is kept in place by the barely stable class system. This allows the members of the upper class to meddle in prohibited desires, while presenting a rather honourable and pleasant appearance; this immorality is routinely covered up. In a sense there are two sides to our personality; right and wrong. Above all there's a Mr. Hyde in all of us .Robert Stevenson brings the idea of another self in one person to life by creating Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. His novel is a vivid tale of the duality of mankind. ...read more.

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