Dr.Jekyll as a Victim of His Times

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Dr.Jekyll as a Victim of His Times In this book Stevenson contemplates certain ideas about man's nature including the double-sided personality, which all humans seem to have. Charles Darwin had published his book "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection" in 1859.Darwin's theories were highly controversial at the time and the idea that men were descended from apes was particularly opposed by the church and large sections of Victorian society. Stevenson wanted to illustrate the dual nature of man, rational being and the more uncontrollable savage side. He also sought to show how people tried to hide the more animalistic side of their nature in the fairly restricted Victorian society. Perhaps also Stevenson's own Calvinistic upbringing provided some of the background for this story for instance the idea that the animal side of man's nature could only be let out secretly at night so as not to tarnish his reputation. In the first chapter of the book we are introduced to one of the main characters of the story, Gabriel Utterson. We are immediately told of his, "rugged countenance" and how he is; "lean, long, dusty, dreary, and yet somehow lovable." We are immediately aware of his high moral standards and the strict Calvinist principles by which he was brought up. He is, "austere with himself" as was the Victorian way. He did not indulge himself; "though he enjoyed the theatre, he had not crossed the doors of one for twenty years." We begin to see this man as a successful and honourable man of Victorian society. Utterson seems to be the ideal Victorian man. However he is not perfect and does have a dual nature. When he is t... ... middle of paper ... ...that as Jekyll becomes weaker in his despondency, Hyde becomes stronger and more evil. In conclusion Victorian times were times of repression. Jekyll represents someone wanted to break out of this repression but still wanting to keep a good reputation. I think that Jekyll was a victim of his times but he went too far in separating the two personalities. It was his fault that Hyde was formed and that people suffered as a result of this man. It was the Victorian times and the Calvinist ideals of the times that set Jekyll off on his journey to separating our good and evil personalities. But when Hyde became very evil it was Jekyll's fault for not stopping his experiments, because he knew that Hyde was becoming more powerful all the time. So Jekyll was partially a victim of his times but he does not deserve our sympathy.
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