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

Duality in Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Duality in Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde One branch of philosophy insists that human beings are 'dual creatures'. By this is meant the animalistic side of a human being, being separate from man's unique ability of rational thinking. This duality in humans is the not quite so obvious 'lower level' of meaning in Robert Louis Stevenson's allegory The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The much more obvious, 'surface level' of meaning is that of a horror mystery. Stevenson explores this duality in every human mainly through Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde. The story also demonstrates how an innocent curiosity about our darker side of our nature can get out of hand. Stevenson suggests that in all of us there is a seed of evil. 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 is a symbolic change because it helps the visualization of the two characters and their role in Stevenson's message. The contrast between the suave, distinguished gentleman and the impulsive 'animal' is notable. ...read more.

Middle

Stevenson's intention in this novel is to show that one should have control ever their animalistic side. 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. 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' is set in Victorian times, where the well-respected lawyer Utterson investigates the mysterious goings on surrounding his good friend Dr Jekyll and the evil Mr Hyde. The book was written in 1886 and therefore contains many theories around in Victorian times such as physiognomy. This is when people believed physical appearance could define a criminal type character. This is evident throughout the book due to the description of Hyde and also of more civilised characters. The idea of original sin is perhaps 'watered down' in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by introducing the idea of drugs to bring out evil characteristics in one person. The setting of 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' is set in Victorian London. ...read more.

Conclusion

'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde', can be related to scientific attempts, such as cloning and genetic engineering, as they have yet unknown consequences, just as Dr Jekyll did not understand how the drugs he took would affect him. Also hypocrisy is a part of contemporary life. Many people behave in one way in public but another elsewhere. This is also brought out in the novel as Dr Jekyll was forced by civilisation to act differently in public and this caused him to experiment with drugs, (therefore separating his two sides making it easy to act respectively at all times. 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' and 'Lord of the flies' have similar themes although written in two largely different times. They also relate closely to current themes suggesting that some ideas are consistent over time. The themes of good and evil and the relation to 'original sin' are demonstrated within both novels suggesting that each individual has the opportunity to be both good and evil. This is best in 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' as the same person splits his personalities, which allows it to be both good and fully evil at different times. In 'Lord of the Flies' this is shown in a different way, by using children as the main characters. In this way, it uses the reader's preconception that children are innocent and are not born evil, but can become so. ...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 the Victorian times if you were a doctor, like Jekyll then you would need to conduct yourself in an honourable way and be a 'role model' to the lower classes and fellow peers. From the beginning of the novella Jekyll is mentioned as having a "signature very well known

  2. The Setting of Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde can be seen ...

    "lamps, which had never been extinguished or had been kindled afresh" suggests that the lamps have always been extinguished, and they do not shed any light on anything, therefore keeping Soho a dark and gloomy area.

  1. Duality of Jekyll and Hyde

    The hypocrisy of the hidden duality in the book is demonstrated not just through Jekyll and Hyde, but through other, fairly decent characters as well. We can only assume that from the book, Hyde's influence causes people to change. For example, in the first chapter, 'Story of the Door', Hyde tramples a young girl.

  2. How does Stevenson create intrigue in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    The attack is set late at night and "The lane was brilliantly lit by the moon," as Mr Hyde menacingly approached Sir Carew and "the moon shone on his face as they spoke." After a few words passed to one another Mr Hyde viciously struck Carew with his walking cane.

  1. How does Stevenson create an atmosphere of mystery and suspense yet at the same ...

    By getting involved into Jekyll's life, he would be ultimately invading his own privacy meaning that he would be a hypocrite and insincere. Poole and Utterson move back to the kitchen, where Poole insists that the voice they heard emanating from the laboratory does not belong to his master.

  2. How does Utterson's role in 'Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde' reflect the social concerns of the ...

    Utterson's role in the play is to act as the 'calm in the storm' that surrounds the novels shocking and barbarous events. Although Utterson witnesses a string of extraordinary and chilling circumstances, Utterson is a largely unexciting character and is clearly not a man of strong passions or sensibilities.

  1. The Strange case of dr. jekyll and mr. hyde - letter

    As much as this description horrifies me, it emphasises the duality of human nature. What could an elderly man possibly have done to provoke this dreadful outburst? Here we have uncontrollable fury against an innocent elderly man. This represents the opposing sides of the human personality, the struggle between good and evil.

  2. The story 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' summary.

    He lives in a world where pretence is uncounted for in the social circle of friends. This novel brings out a world in which appearance clashes with reality, a world of illicit desires and repressed emotions. The Victorian times bring out two types of society, on one hand we have

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