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The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

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Introduction

The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde In the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson makes the reader question the extent to which Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are in fact a single character. Until the end of the novel, the two personas seem nothing alike-the well-liked, respectable doctor and the hideous, depraved Hyde are almost opposite in type and personality. Stevenson uses this marked contrast to make his point: every human being contains opposite forces within him or her, an alter ego that hides behind one's polite facade. For us, the reader, to understand fully the characters of either Jekyll or Hyde, we must consider the two physical and mental appearances as one single character. Although the respected Dr Jekyll and the deformed Mr Hyde charecters are mainly based around good and evil, the presence of other characters such as Utterson, Enfield and the minor parts of the maid and police man tell us that there is more to human nature than just good and evil. Stevenson uses Dr Jekyll to show the good and admired side of a person's human nature. It is true that Jekyll largely appears as moral and decent, engaging in charity work and enjoying a reputation as a courteous and genial man. Jekyll undertakes his experiments with the intent of purifying his good side from his bad and vice versa. He is a highly respected man amongst the London community and his gentleman piers. ...read more.

Middle

Stevenson portrays Utterson to represent the perfect Victorian gentleman. He consistently seeks to preserve order and decorum, does not gossip, and guards his friends' reputations as though they were his own. Even when he suspects his friend Jekyll of criminal activities such as blackmail or the sheltering of a murderer, he prefers to keep what he has learned-or what he thinks he has learned-under lock an key rather than bring ruin upon his good friend. A quote of my own which proves his loyalty is "he is secretive and keeps him self to himself." this says that he respects his friends reputations and would do nothing to harm them. There is also a darker side to Utterson even if it's not as severe as Dr Jekyll it is still noticeable. Stevenson shows us this with hints on what Utterson is like and who he wants to be. These accusations are that he is antisocial and he also wants to be like the criminals he defends. This is because they break rules and have no guide lines to their lives. He feels this because he has to live a very confidential life this is a result of his career of being a layer. Utterson himself is a largely unexciting character and is clearly not a man of strong passions or emotions. Indeed, Stevenson intends for him to come across in this way: from the first page of the novel, the text notes that Utterson has a face that is "never lighted by a smile," that he speaks very little, and that he seems "lean, long, dusty, [and] dreary." ...read more.

Conclusion

Once again he only has a minor role to play but his significance is greatly needed with in the book. We first encounter the police officer when he is investigating the murder of sir Danvers. Like the maid he acts interested and deeply concerned but this is all a scam we find out that he is only into the investigation for the publicity and professional gain he would receive. "His eyes lighted up with professional ambition" he feels he would gain from such a case. The police officer is also a fraudulent human being acting under a heroes shell. Therefore I have shown that Stevenson uses the characters to show that there are more than one aspects or personas to human nature. He does this by illustrating different emotions and behaviours of the characters for instance Hyde's reckless behaviour which contrasts jekyll's calm and gratifying behaviour of which we expect of a man or women of that time. The complexity of human nature consists of the biological, social, and environmental factors which underlie human behaviour. It focuses primarily on the functional unity in which these factors are continuously and mutually interactive. This is why human beings will never be able to control human nature the man factor is that all humans have a several sides to their human nature so how could we investigate it with this in our minds. Stevenson uses the same idea in the suicide note from Dr Jekyll where it says "All human beings are commingled out of good and evil." This confirms that all humans are capable of taking emotions or behaviour to the extreme. 1 ...read more.

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