In reading the Gothic novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, a number of questions come to the reader’s mind. Many pertain to the boundaries of the real and the supernatural, or the literary meanings behind the relationships of particular characters, but one question applies not only to the story itself but also the very condition of life. This question addresses the qualities that make a person truly good or truly bad, and if there can ever be a balance. The Law of Polarity allows you to explore the depth of your own character as well as the characters of Jekyll and Hyde as manifestations of both positive and negative forces. The Law of Polarity is way of thinking that shows how something or someone is
Dr. Jekyll is still Mr. Hyde and vice versa, they just hide behind the personas. Eventually though, evil conquers moral actions, and Mr. Hyde becomes all there is, there is no more Dr. Jekyll. Jekyll gives his evil the power to manifest and take control of his life. By giving evil a face and a name, it controls life’s actions. Good vs. evil is the novella’s biggest theme.
The story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a confusing and perplexing one. R.L. Stevenson uses the devices of foreshadow and irony to subtly cast hints to the reader as to who Mr. Hyde is and where the plot will move. Stevenson foreshadows the events of the book through his delicate hints with objects and words. Irony is demonstrated through the names of characters, the names display to the reader how the character will fit into the novel.
He claims that, ". . .through no fault of mine but through changes in the office [I lost my place], and then I did touch it [alcohol]!" He attempted to educate his daughter, but what little knowledge she has amounts to nothing when she cannot even collect money from Ivan Ivanitch Klopstock, a man she sewed six shirts for. Katerina, fed up with her entire situation, screams at Marmeladov and eventually is driven to introduce her daughter to prostitution.
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Stevenson has put in a clever name for Jekyll’s other personality. Hyde is a good as it is pronounced hide and it is what Mr. Jekyll is doing, using a mask to Hyde his face so no one will recognize what he is doing '(42). I have written them down as two individual people, but in reality they are not. In reality they are the same person but Mr. Hyde is just an excuse to commit sins and 'evil '.
Hyde is seemingly a more interesting character than Jekyll, and we tend to root for the “dark side” more often. Ultimately, like having two sides to one’s self, each viewer will choose which side of Robert they prefer. Those who like Jekyll may sympathise with Hyde or vice versa, again instilling the fact that no one can be completely good or bad, there needs to be a balance between the
For instance, Henry Jekyll who is seen as the good, or light character describes Jekyll as being ‘“a second form and countenance substituted, none the less natural to me because they were the expression and bore the stamp, of lower elements in my soul”’ (qtd. in Singh and Chakrabarti). Dr. Jekyll adds “Edward Hyde, along in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil”. When revealing this, Dr. Jekyll admits Hyde is not different from himself, because he feels Hyde’s desires within him. Jekyll attempts to rationalize his behavior throughout the chapter of “Henry Jekyll’s Full Statement of the Case”.
Although he fights Hyde consistently throughout the novel, this one moment of weakness, when jekyll Affirmates that Hyde, his evil side, is indeed appreciated proves conclusively that Dr jekyll and mr Hyde shows good and evil as linked in human nature. Works Cited Charyn, Jerome. "Who Is Hyde?" Afterword: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Bantam Books.
Not only is the symbolism fascinating and intriguing, the literary word puns are very ironic and makes the novel interesting. Dr. Jekyll believed that at least two different entities occupy a person’s body. His scientific knowledge led him to believe that he could isolate and separate the two separate components. Originally, the ultimate aim of Dr. Jekyll’s experiment was to discover his evil nature and isolate or reject it. But he became fascinated with this evil side of his nature because Hyde was more “free” and was able to satisfy all of Jekyll’s evil desires.
Jekyll is implying that the reason for why he his now older looking than Hyde is because his evil side of Hyde has now left an imprint on a regular body. Therefore leading to the fact that his two personality sides (Yin and Yang) are no longer balanced. The final example is when Jekyll states, “I bring the life of that unhappy Henry Jekyll to an end” (78). Finally Dr Jekyll’s evil side is taking over and there will no longer be a Dr. Jekyll only a Mr. Hyde