Good and Evil in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

901 Words4 Pages
Mr. Hyde and Dorian Gray are characters that nearly match each other in their symbolism and manner. However, it is the key differences that make them remarkably interesting as a pair. They symbolize the battles between good and evil, though they have differing interpretations of morality. Mr. Hyde is the monstrous side of Dr. Jekyll from their book “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” In their story, Dr. Jekyll is a brilliant scientist who has created a formula that turns him into Mr. Hyde. It is stated that, at some point, Dr. Jekyll became addicted to the potion. Though it is unclear what would cause the addiction, since it would be Hyde who would experience the “high” and not Jekyll himself. Hyde is the contrast to Dr. Jekyll, and is considerably more brutal and immoral. Modern incarnations depict him as becoming incredibly muscular after the transformation, though in the original work it is only implied that Hyde is stronger, retaining his previous physique. It is consistent that Hyde is shown to be ugly, perhaps even deformed. Dorian shares Hyde’s immoral nature, but exhibits it in a different way. Hyde is brutal and uses strength to commit his acts of terror. Dorian uses his suave and charisma to corrupt others. Dorian’s story is that he had a magical painting of himself that aged for him, took his ills, and displayed his sins. So long as the picture remained, he would remain immortal and young. Throughout the book, he continued to perform worse depravity, feeling no remorse for the live she destroyed or the people he killed. He only ever killed one man directly, though. His every kill was that of convincing someone to a worse fate, turning rich men to beggars and young virgins to prostitutes. Another point of... ... middle of paper ... ...sner, Mary. "'A Total Subversion of Character': Dr. Jekyll's Moral Insanity." Victorian Newsletter Spring 1998: 27-31. Rpt. in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Kathy D. Darrow. Vol. 228. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Artemis Literary Sources. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. Ruddick, Nicholas. "'The Peculiar Quality of My Genius': Degeneration, Decadence, and Dorian Gray in 1890-91." Oscar Wilde: The Man, His Writings, and His World. New York: AMS, 2003. 125-37. Rpt. in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Jessica Bomarito and Russel Whitaker. Vol. 164. Detroit: Gale, 2006. Artemis Literary Sources. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. Tropp, Martin. "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Schopenhauer, and the Power of the Will." Midwest Quarterly Winter 1991: 141-55. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Jelena O. Krstovic. Vol. 126. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Artemis Literary Sources. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.
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