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Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Analysis of Novel.

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Introduction

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson's novella, 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,' shows a haunting battle between good and evil and makes the reader question the whole basis of human nature. This allegory shows Dr Jekyll, a famous and well-respected scientist who concocts a potion which has the ability to separate the two sides of man - good and evil. When Dr Jekyll consumes this concoction, he transforms into a grotesque monster consisting entirely of evil. Mr Hyde. Being the evil creature that he is, Mr Hyde spends his time committing terrible crimes such as trampling a young girl for no apparent reason and murdering a well-respected gentleman without motive. Therefore, it is no surprise that he is soon sought after by police all over London. The entire text revolves around the mystery of the relationship between Jekyll and Hyde. Throughout the book, the reader wants to know the full extent of the relationship between the two and why Dr Jekyll puts so much trust in Mr Hyde when he is evidently such an evil character. The sudden revelation that Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are in actual fact, one entity and the duality of one personality - Mr Hyde being the personification of every negative impulse Dr Jekyll has ever had - shocks the reader and provokes thoughts about the duality of human nature. ...read more.

Middle

When we come across this term, we think of something indestructible and unstoppable. This adds to the effect Hyde has on us. We take an instant disliking to him, and immediately know that he is the villain in this story. After he tramples the girl, he is made by Mr Enfield and many others to pay compensation to the girl, but when he gives them the cheque for �100, it is in the name of someone who is "at least very well known," there fore the assumption is made by the audience that Hyde is blackmailing a good gentleman i.e. Dr Jekyll. We know he can't be a good character. Another thing that Hyde is guilty of is the murder of Sir Danvers Carew. Dr Jekyll had refused to take his potion for nearly a year, but gave in to temptation "in the month of October." Hyde had been repressed for so long, that when he came out, he came out worse than ever. He acted "like a madman" and "clubbed [Carew] to the ground." But the murder seemed motiveless, as "a purse and a gold watch were found upon the victim." This shows the pure ferocity of Hyde and how he is willing to murder anyone without motive. Dr Jekyll on the other hand, is the complete opposite of Mr Hyde. ...read more.

Conclusion

This implies that Jekyll always had an evil side that he kept hidden from the rest of society. The entire allegory conveys Robert Louis Stevenson's ideas about the duality of man and how no human is purely good or purely evil and that each person has a hidden side to them, whether it is good or bad. He shows this through Dr Jekyll, a seemingly good person who has a hidden side which fulfils his desires to carry out bad deeds. When Carew is murdered, there is a full moon. This symbolises change and the duality of man. The text reflects Stevenson's thoughts about the hypocrisy of Victorian culture, and how many Victorians liked to seem "virtuous" to other people, and always worried what other people were saying about them. They liked to keep up appearances and wanted to seem like good people. However, they had a hidden side to them, a side which they preferred not to show to other people. This side was something undesirably, something they didn't want other people to know about, such as visiting prostitutes, or excessive drinking. Most people in the Victorian era thought that everyone had to behave in a certain way, yet behind closed doors, they acted the complete opposite. The story therefore, shows the duality of man and the hypocrisy of Victorian society. It conveys Stevenson's ideas about how each person has a good side and a bad side, and his ideas about the hypocrisy of Victorian society and values. ?? ?? ?? ?? Iram Naaz Qureshi 11.1.1/11SBE Mr Dye 1 ...read more.

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