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The story 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' summary.

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Introduction

The story 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' portrays man's duality to perfection. This story can be classified as Science Fiction. He scientist Dr Jekyll wants to have self-satisfaction that he can master two personalities with perfection. The Victorian Society is the backdrop of this novel and the moral code turns people into hypocrites because they lead double lives. This novella, although unapparent, is intertwined with many allegorical undertones. Stevenson uses the book to criticise Victorian society and its hypocritical existence. The most significant thematic concern of the novella is the continually revisited theme of the duality of man and the camouflaged evil that lies deep within the human race. Hyde is repressed, undeveloped and primitive, with the taste for hunting and sex. Then on the other hand is Jekyll who stresses that, "man is not truly one, but truly two." This all links to the theme of hypocrisy in Victorian society. Jekyll admits, "...and it was as a secret sinner that I at last fell before the assaults of temptation." Stevenson tries to reveal the double lives that were being lived around this era. Stevenson not only uses Jekyll and Hyde to communicate the theme of duality; he reinforces his point by compounding hidden metaphors into the text. ...read more.

Middle

Hyde anytime. In the initial stages he looked upon Hyde's body as a 'fleshy vestment', which would," Pass away like a stain of breath upon a mirror". Stevenson cleverly brings out the theme of duality between the characters of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Utterson. Both men are well respected in high society; he suspects that Dr Jekyll is also Mr. Hyde because whenever a discussion takes place after a murder, jekyll deeply defends Mr. Hyde and this is in sharp contrast to Utterson's quest for truth. While Jekyll is busy lying and covering for Hyde, Utterson's quest in search of the killer troubles Jekyll. The Victorian streets and by lanes are cleverly compared to the secret corners of the mind and the by lanes of our life, bringing out the beast in man. All murders take place in hidden my lanes of the dingy neighborhood. Dr jekyll lives in the most expensive street in London. It has shop fronts that are bright and attractive. He lives two doors away from a very dull house called 'Gaunt Street'. This is the house hat Jekyll rents for Mr. Hyde. In sharp contrast, Jekyll's mansion has an instinctive duality. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both characters are vain and their characteristics are reflected in the people of today's world. We are all Jekyll and Hyde. Charming on the exterior with a dominant evil inside of us. How we control our evil desires depends on us. Stevenson in this novel has portrayed a story of pride and punishment. In life our illicit desires change our personalities and then we crave for longing of peace of mind, which we cannot achieve. Jekyll's pride paid a price, which Stevenson brings out in these words, "If I am he chief of sinners then I am the chief of suffers" Jekyll became a prisoner of his own evil desires. He took pride in all his doings and his words ring in the ears of the reader. " I was the first that could plod in the public eyes with a cad of genial respectability and in a moment like a school boy, strip off these landings and spring headlong into the sea of liberty." The thought gave him the strength to face the consequences of Hyde's actions. Jekyll was looking for freedom but eventually got enslaved in the hands of evil. We must learn the message that Stevenson tries to give in his novel that with great power comes great responsibility. John McArthur Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 5/1/2007 ...read more.

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