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Edwards Hyde

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Manon Audig� GCSE English language and literature This assignment will explore Mr Hyde, in R.L. Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, first published in 1886. This character is central to the plot as he serves to illustrate Stevenson's main themes of the dangerous attraction to our dark side, the intrinsically human or bestial sides of man and the duality of our nature. First published as a gothic horror story, this novella contains conventional gothic aspects as well as unconventional ones, both representing different sides of split personality. Mr Hyde seems to be a stereotyped gothic monster for he is referred to as "extraneous evil" and a "curse of mankind". This is gothic-like in that it corresponds to the dark, evil, obscurity that qualifies this genre. On the other hand, Mr Hyde is subtler than a stereotype in the sense that he is not purely evil as in gothic literature. Hyde can speak "civilly enough", these rare occasions being little bursts of his other side. For the dark character of Hyde shares his body with a good character, making him unconventional and interesting. This irregularity is created to correspond to real life. ...read more.


The description of Mr Hyde contrasts strongly with that of Dr Jekyll, highlighting their difference. Where Hyde is said to be "a dwarf", Jekyll's allure is that of a "tall fine build of a man". The hand of Henry Jekyll is "large, firm, white and comely", whereas Edward Hyde's hand is "lean, corded, knuckly, of a dusky pallor and thickly shaped with a smart growth of hair". This physical contrast highlights not only the mental differences between the "polar twins", Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, but also the contrast between both sides of man. It is meant to tell that one same person could be both exceptionally good and disgracefully evil, representing once again the strong duality of man. Likewise, when describing the two characters' housings and housekeepers, Stevenson draws a strong parallel between who they are and their environment to reinforce how the exterior world reflects the dark and light sides of people. Firstly, while Jekyll's housekeepers are kind, proper, and caring for their master, Mr Hyde's housekeeper has "an evil face, smoothed by hypocrisy". Dr Jekyll's servants are loyal to him and stay for that reason, reflecting how Dr Jekyll would kindly do a service for anyone in kneed. ...read more.


Mr Hyde, on the other side, "loathed the despondency into which Jekyll had now fallen, and he resented the dislike with which he was himself regarded." This dual perception shows the danger of the attraction towards evil. Dr Jekyll's original liking of Hyde (or evil) later turns against him. When, later on, he begins to hate Hyde, he pays for his original attraction for he now turns into Hyde whether he wants to or not. At first, evil is a temptation, but it soon becomes a whole new personality who takes over and forgets its old self. Hyde represents that threat of self-destruction through evil. Edward Hyde, therefore, seems to be the representation of the worst in mankind. Firstly, Hyde represents the duality of man. Everyone has a dark and light side, which makes us human, and Hyde represents what we could become if we pursued only one course by being compared to an animal. Secondly, he represents animal traits in humanity such as animal instinct, lack of restraint, and lack of consciousness. And most importantly, he embodies evil and sinfulness, and man's attraction to it. This attraction can be dangerous, and Stevenson's overriding message is not to venture in our dark side. The symbolism of Hyde is so strong that this message cannot be ignored. ...read more.

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