• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Stevenson's novella, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, explores duality in an environment of increasing self-doubt and fear The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is one of Stevenson's best works, with many ideas and philosophies embedded in its pages. The main idea that Stevenson conveys to the reader during the book is the idea of mans duality. Stevenson believed that there were two parts to man, the morally correct and the evil. His portrayal of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde incorporates and reflects his beliefs about the duality of man and mans susceptibility to temptation and greed. Stevenson's idea of self-doubt is that man is prone to insecurity and the obsessive nature of moral wellbeing. During the novella he also portrays that members of Victorian society feared the morally wrong and the power of the advancing technology that made man control of his own destiny, instead of being controlled by it. During Victorian society, citizens believed that there was one absolute ruler who was the creator of mankind. Throughout the book, Jekyll bears strong notations towards God; "I swear to god" and "o god, Utterson, what a lesson" etc. However, at the time the book was written Charles Darwin was putting his beliefs into the public eye and creating increasing controversy about the origins of man. His book, On the Origin of Species, put forward many ideas that we now believe to be true and correct. ...read more.

Middle

Anyone having read the book will know that Henry Jekyll turns into Mr. Hyde when having consumed a special potion. The brew awakens a dormant or hidden character; this is emphasized by a physical mutation. This physical mutation from a tall, slim, man of older age to a, younger, stronger, smaller and hairier build has an important imagery to it. The contrast between the suave, distinguished gentleman and the impulsive "animal" is notable. Dr. Jekyll's clothes do not fit Mr. Hyde; they are too small for him. Hyde therefore personifies the idea that the primitive evil is smaller, and that it can be controlled. Dr. Jekyll is a socially acceptable, repressed individual who still has a dark side. He can hide it though. Hyde on the other hand is the completely liberated. Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde don't represent 'good' and 'evil'. The experiment described in Jekyll's letter didn't turn out as it was intended, which was to fully separate good and evil, with a character embodying each side. Instead, Hyde seems to personify the pure evil side of human nature. But Jekyll on the other hand, is not of pure good nature, he represents the control one has over primitive spontaneous passions and desires. Dr. Jekyll thus symbolizes the idea of repression in a respectable individual. Hyde is completely liberated from Jekyll's repression through the potion. He is the boundless entity that gives in to all desires. ...read more.

Conclusion

While a respectable man like Carew may use it as a symbol of power and refinery, another person who contains "ape-like fury" may use it as a weapon to kill. Jekyll's house also symbolises duality. While it is very well presented and furnished, beneath its depths is Jekyll's laboratory. This room is completely different from the main house as it contains many dark mysteries and is the place where Jekyll "created" Hyde. Another main symbol of the representation of duality is the door in the first chapter of the book. When Hyde goes in the building to write a cheque, the cheque is written out in a different name. This door symbolises the fact that even though it is very well presented, it still conceals a dark mystery behind it. This idea closely relates to Victorian society at the time. In Victorian society morality and outer representation was highly important. Victorians believed that you would be judged on your "appearance" and not your personality. The moral of this interesting story is that which many Christians recite daily: "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil". One needs to be in control of their darker side of human nature, and to stop this seed of evil from growing larger. Perhaps, the moral is that we cannot control evil once unleashed. Jekyll tries to 'use' Hyde to give in to his temptations without damaging his social position. This spirals out of control. The cost of Jekyll's curiosity turned out to be a deadly reversal of dominance. ?? ?? ?? ?? Anthony St John-Bond The Judd School ~ 1 ~ ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Robert Louis Stevenson section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Robert Louis Stevenson essays

  1. How does Robert Louis Stevenson explore the duality of human nature in Dr Jekyll ...

    During Victorian times, doctors were highly respected and considered to be among the most intelligent people of their time, with a great deal of responsibility, you could also link this to why Jekyll wanted to move medicine forward by means of a personality splitting potion.

  2. How is the Dual Nature of Man's Personality Explored in "The Strange Case of ...

    I felt younger, lighter, happier in body." This quote shows us that Dr. Jekyll enjoyed being Hyde. He felt better in body and consequently, better in mind. Jekyll could feed his animal passions with Hyde and it was a new start for the doctor; Jekyll did not have to carry

  1. Chapter 1: Story of the Door

    It is also remarkable to note the further importance of wine in these two chapters. Whenever wine is possible or present, positive things happen in the novel. The absence of wine, however, situates the reader in the more negative and ominous situation.

  2. Discuss the idea of duality in "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. ...

    Lanyon and there is this sense of claustrophobia. While in Chapter 7, Utterson and Enfield encounter the first signs of this duality of human nature but we can only assume this as Stevenson does not reveal what Enfield and Utterson saw, the evil that resides in the soul of man.

  1. "Man is not truly one, but truly two" - A discussion on how this ...

    and 'the thought of the separation of these elements' was attractive to him - as he could therefore be one without the other. Describing the final transformation, where Hyde must become Jekyll, Stevenson writes: 'I knew myself at the first breath of his new life to be more wicked, tenfold

  2. Jekyll and Hyde chapter by chapter summary.

    does Jekyll have control of Hyde or is it something that is merely out of his control. The latter seems more true. Some critics have seen and likened Jekyll�s dependence on Hyde to an addiction, like that of drug substance abuse.

  1. How does Stevenson explore the theme of duality in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

    Stevenson was largely raised by his nanny whom he called: 'Cummy' but her true name was: Alison Cunningham who often read Pilgrim's Progress and The Old Testament to him. This influence of Alison's stern Protestantism views and that of what Robert Stevenson saw of everyday life has been argued that

  2. Dr Jeykll and Mr Hyde. The Duality Theme

    ideas, gives us a message of the 'beast within us all!!!" Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, are they one? Or does it really show the twofold of a human's nature? Jekyll had been born wealthy and had grown up handsome, honourable, and distinguished, and yet, he committed secret acts of

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work