“Man is not truly one, but truly two” (Stevenson 104). Or so is the belief of Dr. Henry Jekyll in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Jekyll came to this conclusion at a fairly young age after taking note that the desires he wished to indulge in were not widely accepted, and deciding that it would be best if he repressed these dark pleasures and instead lived only as his moral side. This decision created a great divide in the two selves of which Jekyll was made; neither side was any more or less a part of him, but his dark side, which later manifested itself as Mr. Edward Hyde, was hidden inside of him while the good and well accepted side, Dr. Henry Jekyll, was out on display. The man stayed like this until one day his curiosity got the best of him, and he decided to concoct a potion that would take the two sides of himself and separate them into two distinct identities. He believed that by doing this “life would be relieved of all that was unbearable” (Stevenson 105), and he could live happily as his just self without any evil impulses to guide him astray. Sadly this theory was disproven when Jekyll drank the potion and became trapped within two identities constantly fighting to be the one that was exposed to the world at the time. The relationship between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde begins as that of a father and son but then shifts to that of equals vying determinedly for dominance because the more that Jekyll indulged in his dark side, Hyde, the more powerful that Hyde became.
Good and Evil exists inside of all people, of that Dr. Jekyll was undoubtedly correct, however, Jekyll does not represent all that is good but instead what is deemed acceptable by society, while...
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...lance within all people between that which is good and that which is evil. In creating Hyde, Jekyll breaks the balance between good and evil within himself. Without that balance Jekyll cannot survive. Each time Hyde becomes active he gains more power over Jekyll, and ultimately leads to his downfall. Hyde started out as just the small things that Jekyll refrained from doing or even thinking about because he knew that he would not be accepted by society if he indulged in them, but as he grew more powerful little “undignified” pleasures turned into murder, and other horrible heinous crimes. The evil that Hyde possessed turned into something uncontrollable, while Jekyll remained Jekyll, not purely good and not purely evil. In the end Hyde’s evil overwhelmed Jekyll’s normalcy. Maybe there was a reason that society originally prompted Jekyll to repress Hyde within him.
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