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What views of human nature does Stevenson present in the novel 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'

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Introduction

What views of human nature does Stevenson present in the novel 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'? The purpose of this essay is to consider the different views of human nature that Stevenson presents in his book: 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'. The main character has a split personality, where one is the opposite of the other. Stevenson believes that evil is just as much a part of the human personality as good is, and this essay will analyse just how his views are revealed in his novel. It will also show the conflict of good and evil throughout the whole book, and how Stevenson's background and other factors may have influences how he portrayed it. Stevenson lived and grew up in Edinburgh, therefore in the novel, his references are vary vague, for example: 'not far from the river', or just totally made up, for example Gaunt Street. However some real names are mentioned, like Soho or Cavendish Square. One story that Stevenson would have heard in his childhood in Edinburgh is the story of Deacon Brodie, a cabinetmaker by day and a criminal by night. ...read more.

Middle

This could be the reason why Hyde has 'something wrong with his appearance'. Jekyll feels trapped inside a world full of boundaries, so he gets addicted to the potion that enables him to turn into Hyde. Jekyll feels liberated and calms him hunger for freedom, while Hyde goes around killing and hurting people. We see the Then the inner struggle (dichotomy) appears. We see this when Mr Hyde has 'trampled' over a little girl, or when he killed Sir Danvers Carew. 'Henry Jekyll stood at times aghast before the acts of Edward Hyde... grasp of conscience... his good qualities seemed unimpaired he would even make haste... to undo the evil done by Hyde' Jekyll has to face a hard decision: good or evil? He is torn apart as good is 'the right thing', while evil is the thing that feels good and is effective. The above quote shows us just how torn apart he is, as he feels dreadfully guilty, yet he carries on taking the potion. I think that Stevenson used Hyde to represent the heavily primitive side of the human personality, yet he also used other characters, as there are more demonstrations of a primitive conduct. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, it symbolises good and evil living side by side, as the north and the south are cut in half by the river Thames. The whole of London could symbolise the human personality, because the north could be the good side, and the south could be the evil side, and the river Thames could be there the boundary between good and evil is. The Victorians were infatuated with death, black, ghosts, mourning and spiritualism, although they did not admit to it and acted as if they were fascinated with fairies and the kind. This is like all those people with a reputation that are pretending to be someone they are not. In the 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde', Stevenson presents the human nature that he believes everybody has: good and evil together, He uses everything possible to create the atmosphere of duality, secret, and crime. I think Stevenson is telling his readers not to hide who you really are, yet not to totally forget about one side of the human personality. You should be just like the river Thames: just weaving through the middle. ?? ?? ?? ?? Katarzyna Lakus Page 1 5/9/2007 ...read more.

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