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Jekyll and Hyde

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Introduction

Katie Miles 10A 7th May 2007 How does Henry Jekyll's Full Statement of the Case resolve the questions which are raised earlier in the novel? 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' was written in 1886 by Robert Louis Stevenson. The story derived from one of Stevenson's many adult nightmares and raised questions about Society and Religion that was debated by many people. The story was about the duality of man and how Dr. Jekyll tried splitting the good and evil. A result of this was Mr. Hyde and his pure evil personality. In the novel, the last chapter 'Henry Jekyll's Full Statement of the Case' answered many questions brought up earlier in the story. Dr. Jekyll is portrayed as a respected and distinguished, well brought up man at the beginning of chapter 10. This is clear in the words, '[he was] fond of the respect of the wise and good among my fellow-men', and 'with every guarantee of an honourable and distinguished future'. These statements show us he has all the traits of a gentleman because it says 'good among my fellow men' and fond of the respect of the wise' which meant he liked other high honourable men respecting him; however he feels as though he already leads a double life. We see this in the words, 'I concealed my pleasures' and 'I stood already committed to a found duplicity of life.' This tells us that although he likes having he privileges of a gentleman he also enjoys doing something he can't, which would tarnish his reputation. Before he started the experiment Jekyll lead a respected and high life style of being respected by others and being well off and had a theory on good and evil. ...read more.

Middle

The words struggle, tortured and longings all suggest conflict between the two identities. By the end of the novel Jekyll's feelings towards Hyde had turned completely opposite from what they were at the beginning. Hyde and Jekyll had a pure hatred for each other and it was as if they were both trying to make each other's lives worse. This is clear from the words 'The powers of Hyde seemed to have grown with the sickliness of Jekyll. And certainly the hate that now divided them was equal on each side.' This statement shows us how strong the hatred between both sides but also the power struggle because Hyde was becoming stronger the more he hated Jekyll. Again, it is shown in the words, 'The powers of Hyde seemed to have grown with the sickliness of Jekyll.' Thus representing the imbalance of power between the two. Although Jekyll's hatred for Hyde was strong he carried on taking it because he felt like he was addicted to it. At one point in the novel it describes Jekyll taking the drug to someone with an addiction like to alcohol. He says, 'I do not suppose that when a drunkard reasons with himself upon his vice, he is once out of five hundred times affected by the dangers that he runs through his brutish physical insensibility.' Here Jekyll refers to himself as a drunk and says he cannot reason with himself because he feels as though the drug has already affected him. Therefore, because Jekyll is addicted to the drug, this is why he carries on taking it and he has no power or self respect anymore. ...read more.

Conclusion

Jekyll was very wise to do such a thing for others and at the end of the novel I believe that Jekyll didn't regret his experiments at all. Jekyll was foolish to meddle with the darker side of science and philosophy. However, he didn't deserve to die because he only wanted to try something new and succeed. If Jekyll hadn't done this experiment then some one else would have. After reading the whole novel, I believe that the final chapter is very important to the story. It answers to most questions that are raised earlier in the topic. For example, when Utterson saw Jekyll at the window and Jekyll ignored him we now know that he ignored him and went away because he must have been changing into Hyde. Another example of a question being answered was why Lanyon was so shocked when he say Jekyll and never wanted to see him again, and this was due to him changing into Hyde in front of him. By seeing things from Jekyll's perspective it gives us a clearer understanding of the power struggle between Hyde and himself and how Hyde eventually takes over. I would have liked to have seen at one point in the novel or final chapter some of Hyde's viewpoint, but there wasn't and perhaps Victorian readers would of liked this too because then maybe it would of given explanations for why Hyde did some of the things he did. Hyde is seen from other people's perspectives all the time and maybe if we were to have read something from his perspective, we might have seen reasons why he did some of the things he did. However I do believe that the final chapter was key to the novel and made everything much clearer to the reader. ...read more.

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