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Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: A Jungian approach to Self.

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Michael Ngo Wilson/English 20/Section 39 Essay # 2 11/12/2002 Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: A Jungian approach to Self Upon examination of Robert Louis Stevenson's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," one finds that the Jungian approach to the integrated aspect of Self is apparent through the character's elements of ego and shadow. People wear masks, and are not always as they seem. The protagonist of Stevenson's book clearly represents that Self has an unintegrated aspect. Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychologist. Although he was once a supporter of Freud, Jung broke from him and formed analytical psychology. Jung investigated such items as folk tales, myths, legends, and religion. He was a proponent of persons having personality types that had introversion or extraversion as their characteristics (Sattler 469). Jungian theory posits that people have a personal unconscious and a collective unconscious. The personal unconscious is comprised of a person's personal history, which is repressed because of the pain it causes. The collective unconscious is comprised of pictures or models that everyone shares. They include the images that occur in myths, dreams, or in fairy tales. ...read more.


Jekyll had once been a recluse. He had little to do with family or friends. After a time of his regular formation into the personification of Self, Jekyll became more like Hyde. He began what some considered a new life. "...Dr. Jekyll came out of his seclusion, renewed relations with his friends, became once more their familiar guest and entertainer, and whilst he had always been known for charities, he was now no less distinguished for religion. He was busy, he was much in the open air, he did good; his face seemed to open and brighten, as if an inward consciousness of service; and for more than two months, the doctor was at peace" (Stevenson 56). In the quotation from page 89 in the text, Jekyll has become a nice gregarious person. It is apparent that Jekyll had a dark side, which came through because of the formula he had taken. Without the formula, he had a dark side, but that dark side was a shadow. ...read more.


It is almost as if Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were a paradigm of ego v. shadow and good v. evil. According to Brookes, "Jung believed that the self was the organizer and supervisor of the psyche, or the sum of all mental activity" (Brookes 343). Jekyll/Hyde's self was spilt between good and evil. Because of the struggle between good and evil within Jekyll/Hyde, his shadow gave way to his ego. All of his Hyde activity is proof of his mental state. What is true self in the case of Jekyll/Hyde? Apparently Jekyll was the shadow and Hyde was the ego. Together they merged to become the true self of Jekyll/Hyde. Each was the half to a whole. There had to have been a shadow to compliment the ego and there had to have been an ego to compliment the shadow. Jekyll/Hyde was neither all bad nor all good. He was both good and evil. Because of restrictions, he allowed his shadow self to remained shadowed until a potion allowed his ego self to burst forth. The two parts became one. Jekyll could no longer refuse Hyde and Hyde could no longer hide. Shadow became ego and ego became self. Together they represented Jekyll/Hyde. ...read more.

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