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Jekyll and hyde

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Frankie Bergamin 11O. English: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. How does R.L Stevenson explore good and evil in human nature in the novel? Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a Victorian novel written by R.L Stevenson in 1886, it explores the duality in human nature, the ideas of a good and evil side in all humans. Stevenson uses a lot of different ways to explore good and evil in his novel; by taking Jekyll an ordinary man and giving him an urge to take to his evil side, showing that there is good and evil in everyone. He does not say there people are either 'good' or 'evil', he shows that even though each human being has a good and evil side, in some cases their good side can be over powered by their evil side. R.L Stevenson implies that evil is simply a lack of conscience and not a purely evil person set out to do bad things; as shown in the murder of Danvers Carew and the trampling of the young girl. Stevenson gives a well valued message that Hyde isn't just a part of Jekyll but there is a Hyde in everyone which can at anytime overpower your better nature. This novel is part of a series of the genre of novels that explore the idea of transformations from human to beast which reflect human nature in an eerie but resounding way. Other novels involve beasts resembling werewolves, Dracula and the living dead, this idea of having two sides to personality. ...read more.


It would be unlikely for any man especially Utterson to imagine Jekyll and Hyde as friends, and so this brings in the first element of mystery to the novel. The words Stevenson use to describe the movement of the two men also shows the fact that they are complete opposites, as far as their personalities are concerned. Where Hyde's actions are described using language like 'Shrank back with a hissing intake of breath'. This use of negative language makes you imagine a man very much like an animal, and not very human at all this is as metaphor extended by the use of the word hissing, implying that he resembles a snake, which is an animal traditionally perceived as evil. This originates from the story of Adam and Eve, as the snake was the one who persuaded Eve to eat from the apple. Jekyll's description of movement is quite different, 'You could see from his looks that he cherished for Mr Utterson a sincere and warm affection'. These words such as 'cherishes' and warm affection' are positive adjectives which make Jekyll seem a happy, kind man. The use of the word cherish is highly effective as it is usually associated with mother and child, and a child is also normally related to innocence, and therefore 'goodness' However when Hyde is mentioned the descriptions become quote the opposite. 'The large handsome face of Dr Jekyll grew pale to the very lips and there became blackness about his eyes'. ...read more.


Jekyll's insecurities may be seen as a result of the devision of the social classes in those days, and because he was a member of the upper middle class he was restricted in his actions as he couldn't do what was deemed as 'unacceptable'. He uses Hyde to bring out is evil side without doing anything bad himself, and so the guilt is not on him. Jekyll describes the struggle of good and evil as being evil is entertaining, as you can do whatever you like without consequence however in reality this is not the case in real life, law is the foundation of creating an equal society, and if the law still enables us to have free will then people will have no need to be evil. The experiment of Mr Hyde and how Jekyll enjoys this transformation from good to evil does not however make him 'evil' himself, the need every human feels that they can live how they like, does not necessarily make them an 'evil' person, but Hyde is shown as 'evil' in itself because he is this single part of Jekyll that's mind is only controlled by evil. This brings up the point of whether the laws and order of society are the only thing stopping humanity from deteriorating into anarchy. Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a tale of a man's struggle between good and evil. It shows that each person has this struggle within them, and that good or evil is not a product of individual nature or nurture. He explains that both good and evil occur as a result of human nature; however it is the choices we make that decide which is prominent. ...read more.

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