Essay on Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

Essay on Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

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In Germany, it is often said that seeing or meeting ones doppelganger, or alter-ego, is a very bad omen that signifies impending death. They are said to represent a person, but in their evilest form. Dr. Jekyll, from the novella Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, does not meet his doppelganger; he creates him. Living in the proper city of London during a time which placed great value on manners and a gentleman-like nature, Dr. Jekyll felt restricted from even the time of his boyhood. He decided to; using his skill in chemistry, create a potion that would separate the two parts of him: good and evil. He named this other half Mr. Hyde and drank the potion almost nightly to release him into the city streets. On the other hand, Dorian Gray from Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray met his doppelganger, although somewhat untraditionally. Dorian was a model for a painting that his good friend Basil was working on. Shortly before the completion of the painting, Lord Henry, another friend of Basil’s, spoke to the young and impressionable Dorian about the importance of his beauty and youth. Completely changed by Lord Henry’s revelations, Dorian thinks that the now completed beautiful and life like painting is only to serve as a mockery of his soon-to-be fading beauty and youth. Dorian wishes for him “…to be always young, and the picture…to grow old” (Wilde 27). Upon making his wish, Dorian unknowingly ties his soul to the appearance of the portrait. In the beginning, both Dr. Jekyll and Dorian are enamoured with their doppelgangers and the freedom that they gain from them, but as time goes on, they both slowly begin to lose their control and in the end it becomes their ruin.
Seeing their doppelgangers for the first tim...


... middle of paper ...


...disgust and loathing” (Wilde 147). But looking slightly past the horrid appearance, one could see “…some gold in the thinning hair and some scarlet on the sensual mouth”, there was still some hope left for the mending of Dorian’s soul (Wilde 147). Dorian soon launches himself past the point of no return when he, “…as though it had been suggested to him by the image on the canvas[,]…dug [a] knife into the great vein that is behind [Basil’s] ear…” (Wilde 149-150). Unlike Jekyll who was outraged and horrified about the murder, Dorian “felt strangely calm” (Wilde 150). His only actions after the act are to make sure that no one will discover the murder. He shows no remorse or regret for murdering his once thought-to-be dearest friend which displays the ongoing downward spiral that his soul is taking. Both however, are unaware of how close they are to meeting their end.

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