Characteristics Of Jekyll And Dr Jekyll

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As a scientist, Jekyll also could not resist the temptation to attempt to separate the characteristics that made a person good and evil. He had long observed the dualities of Victorian society and seen how allegedly good people would take a piece of information regarding a misdeed of a fellow man and blackmail him so the knowledge would remain private. Instead of succumbing to this societal flaw, Jekyll wanted to determine for himself if good and evil could be separated inside of the mind of one human being. One of the taboos of science, regardless of what era a person is analyzing, is that a scientist never experiments on himself (Towheed 89). However, Jekyll ignores this taboo as he had several others to engage in his own vices and decides…show more content…
Jekyll had to his research, even knowing that his own health and mental well-being were at stake. It was too much of a temptation to prove his scientific theory correct that he made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of science. With that said the question then becomes what sacrifices for science is too much? It was common practice during the Victorian Era for medical doctors and scientists to experiment on the poor, even to the detriment of these people all in the name of science (Verrips 228). There were countless terrible acts committed against these involuntary guinea pigs such as lobotomies and other surgical procedures to test proposed treatments for medical as well as mental health issues, and very few people batted an eyelash when this was done. So if it was acceptable to perform these types of barbaric acts in the name of science, why would it not be acceptable to use oneself as a guinea pig as Dr. Jekyll did? Naturally there were negative consequences that were a direct result of the doctor’s decision to experiment on him, but ultimately it was the choice he made as a man and professional being of sound mind. However, it is the ‘sound mind’ portion of this statement that deserves further…show more content…
It is terrible to consider that a man who is considered an upstanding, moral citizen in society can reduce himself to such a monstrous existence. According to Dryden (88), this is an example of the literary double standard written about so often in Victorian literature which presents good moral citizens yet reveals a darker, more sinister side to them. Again the liberal interpretation of morality is important in this case since the Victorian Era is commonly full of double standards. One of the biggest fears that existed during the Victorian Era was that people would abandon their moral codes and act upon their own dark, terrible desires, and this fear is the basis of this novella as well as other well-known pieces of literature during this time period (Dryden 89). Taboos such as murder, cruelty toward others, unnatural sexual acts (including homosexuality) and drug use were amongst those habits that were considered taboo yet were regularly practiced during the Victorian
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