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

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

Extracts from this document...


"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.

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. “Dr. Jekyll deserves our sympathy – he is a victim of Victorian Values.” Discuss.

    This act of remorse can make us feel a certain amount of sympathy for Jekyll. He was forced to hide this because he was, as already mentioned, of very high status. He was 'Henry Jekyll, M.D., D.C.L., LL.D., F.R.S., & C,' a revered medical doctor who wore a 'commonly grave countenance before the public.'

  2. "If I Am The Chief Of Sinners, Then I Am The Chief Of Sufferers ...

    certain dislike even before the story has begun to properly develop or we have the chance to discover the characters more intimately: "It wasn't like a man; it was like some damned Juggernaut" (Pg9, Lline 27) The first striking thing here is the use of the word "damned" to emphasise Enfield's point.

  1. Henry Jekyll is a victim of his time and therefore deserves our sympathy Discuss.

    One could say that it was his fault because he pushed them away, but maybe he was afraid he would lose his friends forever if he told them about his freak discovery. This seems particularly likely when one considers the death of Dr Lanyon.

  2. How both novelists represent the experience of drug taking in

    "There are always drugs about so you tend always to take them". This quote shows that Tar and all the junkies are weak. Lily plays an important role in Tar becoming a junkie. She admires him by calling him "the Titanium man" and telling him that he is a "strong" man.

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