• 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. 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.

  2. 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

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

    Sir Danvers Carew is the second known victim of Mr Hyde, as at first Mr Enfield witnessed the trampling of the young girl by Mr Hyde, but he did not kill her, or seriously injure her. Rather, his behaviour seems to show an utter disregard for the girl's humanity or her right to walk down the same street as him.

  2. Duality of Jekyll and Hyde

    and very secretive, and it had no windows, and windows are let you see what is going on, they have no secrets. Through this idea of doors and windows, reflects also on the people. Before Hyde was entered into the picture, Jekyll was a very open and honest man.

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

    I was walking with Enfield, still anxious to see my old friend. 'A fog rolled over the city, a haggard shaft of daylight would glance in-between the swirling wreaths'. It was only then I realised just how foggy London had been these past few years.

  2. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    isn't just liked by those who know and get on with him, instead he is loved. The quotes convey that no matter what someone's demeanour they can still be kind and popular. This introduces the theme of duality for the reasons said above.

  1. 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

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

    As for Jekyll himself, he pledges his continued affection for Utterson but adds that from now on he will be maintaining a strict seclusion, seeing no one. He says that he is suffering a punishment that he cannot name. Lanyon fulfills his prophecy as he dies a few weeks later.

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