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

Man is not truly two, but truly one

Extracts from this document...


Heather Romine D. Rae Greiner English R1A 18 April 2006 Man is not truly two, but truly one Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde explores the duality of human nature. Jekyll believes he can extract his evil side as Hyde to destroy this part of himself; however, he realizes that he enjoys his secret life pursuing illicit pleasures. At first it appears that the primary struggle lies between the well-respected Dr. Jekyll and the evil Mr. Hyde, but what is actually more threatening is the fact that the binary does not hold. The evil cannot be isolated and contained, thus it is impossible to separate and kill off. Jekyll is not completely good and Hyde is not purely evil. Some evil must have existed in Dr. Jekyll in the beginning for him to transform into Mr. Hyde. Hyde is not completely evil because he is somewhat "natural and human" (Stevenson 58). By combining good and evil in both characters, Stevenson reveals the complexities of human nature rather than the strict "divided self" that Jekyll believes he is creating. The flaw that leads to Jekyll's downfall is his thinking in binary terms when he says, "man is not truly one, but truly two" (55). ...read more.


One who is timid and bold is unpredictable: at one moment they may hide their evil plots, whereas at other times they act on their devastating impulses. Humans are multifaceted because their actions are not always rational or foreseeable. Jekyll's unreliable science and Hyde's "murderous mixture" cast doubt on the claim that Hyde is completely devilish. Just as Hyde and Jekyll both contain good and evil within, their shared home represents two sides of one character. Dr. Jekyll enters the front of the house with a great fa�ade and elegant interior, whereas Mr. Hyde enters through the back laboratory door with a dilapidated structure. Hyde's door "was well equipped with neither bell nor knocker, was blistered and distained" (6). The doors strike an incongruous note and contrast with the rest of the houses on this pleasant and wealthy street. The back door lacks a bell and knocker which is unwelcoming to visitors. Stevenson personifies the door as "blistered" indicating an element of pain that occurs due to the transformation that occurs within this lab. Ironically, when Utterson and the detective go inside Hyde's house, they find it "furnished with luxury and good taste" (26). ...read more.


Since only one character can exist at a particular time, they are never completely separated. The fact that Hyde takes over Jekyll's body right after Jekyll drinks the vial of poison shows that the conflict persists until the last minute of this character's life. The Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde illustrates the existence of multiplicities found in every individual and the need to recognize but minimize the grasp of evil. Seemingly opposing qualities such as good versus evil, civilized versus primitive, and repression versus liberation can all be found competing within a single character. Even though Jekyll calls Hyde "pure evil," there is evidence contradicting this belief; Jekyll is not strictly good and Hyde is not wholly evil. Jekyll's belief in humans as two separate beings that can be divided lead to his death. They cannot concurrently exist because they are ultimately one individual. Jekyll's dualistic thinking that leads to splitting his personality is problematic because all humans, including Hyde, are composed of multiple qualities. It is impossible to obtain a pure compound by human means such as through science due to the competing forces within every person. Jekyll's lack of acceptance of his complex nature and attempt to split his identity ultimately led to his death because man is not two, but truly one. ...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. Duality of Jekyll and Hyde

    His door was always open. As Hyde's power begins to grow, we can see that Jekyll becomes more engulfed and isolated in his own home because of his secret, and finds it hard to let anyone in, even people, such as Utterson, whom he trusted with his life.

  2. Jekyll and Hyde

    The way he described the feelings was excruciating pain and that he imagined that you could only feel such pain at the hour of birth or death. This would of made the reader feel repel the reader but also excite them because they would want to know what happens.

  1. jekyll and hyde

    The book was written in the Victorian times and in those days there existed two types of classes. These were the lower class citizens and the upper class citizens. As you may have already realised, upper class people were respected and had something honourable against their name and had something

  2. "Man is not truly one, but truly two" - A discussion on how this ...

    Possibly one of the most alarmingly strange things surrounding this - his fourth novel - is that it was written in three days - whilst haemorrhaging and being violently sick in between. The concept of 'ego and id' is explored throughout the text, and especially in chapter ten 'Henry Jekyll's Full Statement of the Case'.

  1. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

    This gives the sense of destructiveness and violence. Also the quote 'swirling wreaths' gives the sense of death as wreaths is what is placed on-top of a coffin. Finally Stevenson describes the gloomy avenues as 'mournful re- invasion of darkness' which gives the sense of decay and obscurity.

  2. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    Duality appears throughout the novella, including the characters. Mr Utterson is a lawyer and good friend of Henry Jekyll. "...of a rugged countenance, that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty..." This description of Mr Utterson, from the first page, portrays him to be a grumpy man, with sharp features on his face, who doesn't get on with anybody and who would drink on his own.

  1. Dr Jekyll and Hyde

    Apart from the richer priest, doctor, lawyer or the socialite, many people like Pool who is a servant of Dr Jekyll were only able to read simple and direct language as in the 'Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr.

  2. Man is not truly one, but truly two. Show how Stevenson explores this idea ...

    Utterson got very disturbed by this testament especially having heard about Mr. Hyde from his cousin, Mr. Enfield. The story stated Mr. Hyde had chased and trampled over a small innocent girl; Mr. Enfield described the scene as a sight ?hellish to see.? This will that Mr.

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