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"Dr Jekyll is a victim of his time and deserves our sympathy." Do you agree?

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"Dr Jekyll is a victim of his time and deserves our sympathy." Do you agree? Dr. Henry Jekyll was born into an age of respectability, religion, and morality. The Victorians believed in "progress", self discipline and strict, stern morality. Writers like Samuel Smiles wrote about "Self Help". The Victorian age was one of polarisation of the lifestyle of the people. There were always two kinds of people, the respectable Jekylls and the destructive and filthy Hydes. "Pleasures" like prostitution and gambling, were frowned on by all of high society. Even so, many respectable people indulged in these activities in secret by night and then by day take part in a communal criticism of these actions. The Victorians were hideous hypocrites. Famous people such as Dr. Banardo were biefly suspected of the 1888 Ripper murders. The Victorians had a rigid social structure. There were the middle and upper classes who owned the vast majority of the nation's wealth. There were the lower classes who often lived in abysmal conditions, meanwhile the rich people lived in luxury. Stevenson was fascinated by this polarisation, this was maybe because his father was a strict Protestant calvinist. ...read more.


I approached my discovery in a more noble spirit...an angel instead of a fiend", an evil person comes out of the experiment. Instead of just using Hyde from time to time, Jekyll gets addicted to Hyde (through some fault of his own he needed slef control) and soon the transformation becomes almost independent of his taking the drugs to change into Hyde. Hyde is without a doubt a terrible person. The incident where he tramples over the small girl reinforces this. It is a demonstration of the duality of nature of man where a respectable doctor can trample a small girl and not think twice. However, Hyde's wrong doing does not stop at this. There is the brutal murder of Sir Danvers Carew, who was an MP, so very high up in society. In Dr Jekyll's full statement of the case he admits that it was Hyde who murdered Carew; "It was Hyde, after all, and Hyde alone that was guilty" This ease with which he accepts Hyde's guilt and tries to shift the blame for this terrible act makes us feel less sympathy for Jekyll, as surely he should be more than a little upset if something that he has created can to such an awful thing. ...read more.


Later on in his full statement of the case, he says "A change had come over me . It was no longer the fear of the gallows, it was the horror of being Hyde that racked me." This gives us some respect for Jekyll, it shows he is altruistic. He doesn't mind being hanged so much, more he feels that if he lets Hyde loose again he will do even more evil. This is the reason why he turned himself in, and we have to respect him for this action. Victorian society of obviously partly to blame for the demise of Dr. Jekyll. We see that if he had been allowed to indulge in his pleasures without being criticised and becoming a social outcast maybe his bad side would have come out more slowly, not through the terrible deeds that Hyde does; "My devil had been long caged, he came out roaring." Nowadays we tend to tolerate depraved activities. If the addictions get too bad we try and help those affected; we don't expel them from society. I think that the incident of Jekyll was partly Jekyll's fault, but mostly society's fault for not letting him be free. I do agree that Jekyll is a victim of his time and deseves out sympathy. ...read more.

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