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Examine critically with particular reference to the language, the theme of man's duality in R L Stevenson's

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Introduction

Examine critically with particular reference to the language, the theme of man's duality in R L Stevenson's "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" The story 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' portrays man's duality to perfection. This story can be classified as Science Fiction. He scientist Dr Jekyll wants to have self-satisfaction that he can master two personalities with perfection. The Victorian Society is the backdrop of this novel and the moral code turns people into hypocrites because they lead double lives. Dr. jekyll is a renowned doctor and a scientist. He firmly believes that there is a "beast" in very man and he is determined to create his evil half man and he is determined to create his evil half in the body of Mr. Hyde. His social status and rich circle of friends made him the center of attraction as an eligible bachelor to high society females. 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 the respectable deeply religious and polite society, on the other hand we have the illiterate and the brothels. The two never mix, and that is why Robert Stevenson provided this background to bring out the theme of 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. ...read more.

Middle

All murders take place in hidden my lanes of the dingy neighborhood. Dr jekyll lives in the most expensive street in London. It has shop fronts that are bright and attractive. He lives two doors away from a very dull house called 'Gaunt Street'. This is the house hat Jekyll rents for Mr. Hyde. In sharp contrast, Jekyll's mansion has an instinctive duality. It is dignified; affluent, reputable as well as, in the later part becomes mystifying, hostile and ominous. The duality is highlighted by the two appearances of the homes. The respectable Jekyll side of the house is a sharp contrast to the squalid conditions. The Hyde residence in gaunt Street is bleak, neglected compared to the impeccable and wealthy commercial structure of dr. Jekyll. Dr Jekyll's home is a symbol of the heart. The dark places in Jekyll's house represent the dark and evil desires inborn in man and is symbolized in street doors and windows veiled to society. Like Jekyll's house, the heart is outwardly clean, but it suppresses morbid desires and jealous streaks. He closed door symbolizes the door that is shut to truth and only in the end is the door broken open by Utterson because this door is the passageway to evil and horrid desires. Dr Jekyll's mysterious cellar door is important to note because it represents the possibility of all hidden secrets, which represents the path to evil. ...read more.

Conclusion

Dr Jekyll hides his imperfections and creates Mr. Hyde because he has a pride that he is an intellectual scientist. Hyde has a violent hatred for goodness and is jealous of Dr Jekyll who is a sharp contrast of him. Both characters are vain and their characteristics are reflected in the people of today's world. We are all Jekyll and Hyde. Charming on the exterior with a dominant evil inside of us. How we control our evil desires depends on us. Stevenson in this novel has portrayed a story of pride and punishment. In life our illicit desires change our personalities and then we crave for longing of peace of mind, which we cannot achieve. Jekyll's pride paid a price, which Stevenson brings out in these words, "If I am he chief of sinners then I am the chief of suffers" Jekyll became a prisoner of his own evil desires. He took pride in all his doings and his words ring in the ears of the reader. " I was the first that could plod in the public eyes with a cad of genial respectability and in a moment like a school boy, strip off these landings and spring headlong into the sea of liberty." The thought gave him the strength to face the consequences of Hyde's actions. Jekyll was looking for freedom but eventually got enslaved in the hands of evil. We must learn the message that Stevenson tries to give in his novel that with great power comes great responsibility. ...read more.

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