The Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde Essay

The Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde Essay

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respectability, but when the two use that name, they are being the opposite. Thus, in the story, it appears that Wilde is trying to make the argument that, although respectability, morality and wealth are of the utmost importance to Victorian society, the reality is that everyone kept secrets from one another to save face in the public eye. In addition, Dr. Jekyll not only changes his name to Hyde, but is also stripped of the title of doctor. Therefore, in the case of Dr. Jekyll, Stevenson depicts a downward trend for the character as he transitions into the dark side of Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll goes from a very respectable scientist to unknown cripple that frightens and murders Londoners. Yet, the character of Mr. Hyde is a desperate attempt to escape his job and lifestyle from time to time. However, further in the story his name of Dr. Jekyll is becoming lost and Mr. Hyde is taking on his primary role in society. In Jekyll’s account of what happened, he confirms that he was feeling great pressure from everyday life and his role in society, but eventually the character of Dr. Jekyll was almost completely lost. He claims, “I was not only well known and highly considered, but growing toward the elderly man, this incoherency of my life was daily growing more unwelcome. It was on this side that my new power tempted me until I fell in slavery” (866). Which supports Saposnik theory that often the characters in Victorian literature are “exemplars of a harsh life best seen in the context of their professional and social conduct” (719).

Characters, Algernon, Jack and Dr. Jekyll initially use their second characters to have fun and take the pressure off them, but later things go terribly wrong. The characters are forced into compulsively ly...


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...Mr. Hyde that has a “purpose [that] is all too plain and horrible” (850), as well as, possibly addiction. However, one theme that remains throughout the stories is “[t]he characters’ innocence despite their lack of moral sense” (Thienpont 250). The authors do not seem to question whether it is the fault of the characters, but more the concept of external factors that cause them to react in the way they do. In Wilde’s and Stevenson’s stories, the expectations of respectability in the wealthy class is a major factor in why the characters behave the way they do. That is because the Victorian upper class put a large emphasis on money and certain repressive ideologies. As a result, three important areas in which this is shown is in location, character names and affect the pressure has on them and how can causes them feel as though they must change character to feel free.

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