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Explore the nature of evil as it presented to us in 'The Strange case of Docter Jekyll and Mr Hyde' by R.L.Steveson and 'Lord of the Flies' by William Golding.

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Introduction

Explore the nature of evil as it presented to us in 'The Strange case of Docter Jekyll and Mr Hyde' by R.L.Steveson and 'Lord of the Flies' by William Golding. In this essay I am going to compare two novels, which are 'Lord of the Flies' by William Golding and 'The Strange case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde' by R.L..Stevenson. I am going to study the nature of evil as it appears in these novels. 'The strange case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde' (now to be known as 'DJ & MH') is set in Victorian London. It was published in the late nineteenth century, when society was in a state of confusion because Dawin had recently published 'On the Origin of Species,' an essay on his theory of evolution. His theory stated that man evolved from an ape, which appalled Victorian man, as he did not relish the thought of evolving from an ape because it was a lower life form. He found this notion insulting. Dawin's theory implied that the biblical version of creation was incorrect. The biblical version is found in 'Genesis' and is the story of how God created the Earth in seven days. Victorian man could not envisage descending from a creature such as an ape because they were too sophisticated and advanced to come from such a beast. ...read more.

Middle

Dr Jekyll thought he was doing good as when he created the potion he wanted to erase evil from the world. His attempt to bring science forward failed dramatically. Morality comes mainly from your conscience as when you do something wrong your conscience bothers you. In both novels the characters' consciences do not bother them because they hide behind a mask. In 'DR & MH', Dr Jekyll is a different person therefore he feels he should not have to pay for Mr Hyde's crimes so his conscience does not affect him till it is too late. In 'Lord of the Flies' the boys in Jack's tribe hide behind the masks, which they construct with face paints, so not all of them feel bad about their crimes. The masks make the boys look the same therefore they are camouflaged amongst each other as well and guilt does not affect them as it is hard to hold one-person responsible. At the time of the novel ' DJ & MH', Victorian London was confused about their code of behaviour. Victorian behaviour was mainly based upon religion and the essay 'On the Origin Species' had recently questioned this. This theory questioned religion therefore questioning the Victorian code of behaviour. In the novel ' DJ & MH' the force for good is Dr Jekyll and the force for evil is Mr Hyde but they are both the same person. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is only when the naval officer arrives that the boys stop and the extent of their crimes finally hits them. In ' DJ & MH ' the death is that of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Dr Jekyll also realises that he can go on no longer and decides to end his life. In his will he says that he does not know what will become of Mr Hyde, but he hopes that he to will also end his life. At the end of the novels evil is defeated but its path of destruction still exists and evil is just lying dormant till it can escape the clutches of good. In ' The Lord of the Flies', as the boys depart, they look back at the island and it looks like a nuclear bomb has just hit it, as it is wasted and barren. This demonstrates how destructive evil has been on the island. In the novel 'DJ & MH' R.L.Stevenson was trying to express the evil within everyone and how dangerous it is to meddle which the depths of the human body. In 'Lord of the Flies' William Golding shows how the thin crust of civilisation stops most evil escaping, he also shows the evil within every person even from a young age. The young age of the boy's shows that evil it not just picked up from the environment but suggest it within us from the day we are born just like good. ...read more.

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