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

Henry Jekyll is a victim of his time and therefore deserves our sympathy Discuss.

Extracts from this document...


'Henry Jekyll is a victim of his time and therefore deserves our sympathy' Discuss. 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' was written by Robert Louis Stevenson during the Victorian era. This is significant because during this period, society was very different from today's society. During the Victorian there were strict moral codes to which men of the upper classes were expected to achieve. I will discuss if Jekyll was a victim of the harsh Victorian society and hence whether he deserves our sympathy. I think that in some ways Jekyll was a victim of his society as Jekyll was caged by his upbringing and tortured by feelings which were forbidden. The conflicting sides of his personality are clear when he refers to, 'the perennial war among my members'. After keeping these feelings for so long inside him Jekyll must have become desperate, so we can understand why he made the potion and deserves our sympathy. As I stated in my introduction, the society Jekyll lived in was very rigid and he had lots of pressure on him to accomplish great things in life. ...read more.


Jekyll is addicted to being Hyde and therefore deserves some sympathy and when he has a break from Hyde he becomes stronger and breaks out 'roaring'. This suggests that the repression experienced by Jekyll when trying to adhere to moral codes causes him to become even more desperate to destroy the 'prison house of my disposition' and to let Hyde free. Society can therefore be blamed for Jekyll's destruction. On the other hand, Jekyll can be seen as the victimiser rather than the victim. Ever since his childhood he desired the separation to take place. Other men in this era would have liked to do the same, but they managed to repress their feelings or found an outlet for themselves secretly at places such as brothels, whereas he doesn't. Jekyll lets himself be tempted. Jekyll also had chances to be rid of Hyde, 'the fatal crossroads', Stevenson's image here emphasizes the choice that Jekyll makes. Having become Hyde, Jekyll brags about the feeling of being Hyde, saying he felt 'Younger, lighter, happier in body'. Jekyll also knew how evil Hyde was after becoming him the first time; 'I knew myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be more wicked, ten fold more wicked, sold a slave to my own evil'. ...read more.


We cannot, however, be sure whether this remorse is for the girl and Carew, or for the loss of his reputation. If it was to be the first, then we could feel sympathy for him, however, the latter would further emphasise his selfishness. Jekyll clearly wants sympathy, and uses emotive vocabulary to draw on Utterson's sympathy. For instance, he says 'I have brought on myself a punishment and a danger that I cannot name. If I am the chief of sinners, I am the chief of sufferers also.' In this statement by Jekyll, he admits that he has done something wrong, but asserts that he has also been a victim of something. He is therefore trying to shift the blame onto something else, which may or may not convince the reader. In conclusion, the expectations of society and the traumatic situations that Jekyll has suffered make us feel some sympathy for him. Jekyll may be guilty but he makes his crimes seem beyond his control at times. However, Jekyll consciously took the evil path that night when 'he had come to the fatal crossroads'. This makes me feel no sympathy for Jekyll and makes me feel that his problems were of his own doing. ...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. "Dr Jekyll is a victim of his time and deserves our sympathy." Do you ...

    At the other end of the spectrum there is Mr. Utterson. He was a lawyer and very respectible, but he does not indulge in "pleasures". We see that "...though he enjoyed the theatre, [he] had not crossed the doors of one for twenty years". Mr. Utterson is a vicarious person.

  2. “Dr. Jekyll deserves our sympathy – he is a victim of Victorian Values.” Discuss.

    To get this across, he made sure that Jekyll was not actually ashamed of what he did. Instead he was ashamed of what society thought of them. For this reason, Jekyll 'hid them with an almost morbid sense of shame.'

  1. Dr. Henry Jekyll

    His investigations were successful; he compounded a potion that could release the "evil" in a person in the form of an entirely different physical person, one who would take over one's own body and soul. Then one could commit acts of evil and feel no guilt.

  2. "If I Am The Chief Of Sinners, Then I Am The Chief Of Sufferers ...

    However, both Jekyll and our sympathy for him come crashing down to earth when we learn that as Hyde, he crushed an innocent little girl under foot and even committed murder on the kind, peaceful Danvers Carew. These two events were the first indication that Hyde's actions were getting out

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