Of Homosexuality In The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr. Hyde?

Powerful Essays
In Great Britain, during the Victorian era, a new law named Labouchere Amendment was put into effect. This criminalizes homosexuality with a sentence of life imprisonment or death. This new law forces many people who are gay into hiding. Those in hiding would live double lives. Some are married to the opposite sex, others remain single throughout their livelihood; causing them to be heterosexual by day and a homosexual by night. Some like Oscar Wilde remain open about their sexuality. Which led Oscar to be imprisoned for 2 years of hard labor. Robert Louis Stevenson focused on this cultural issue in his novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, through figurative language. Through this Stevenson posits that if one hides one’s authentic…show more content…
Jekyll’s sexuality. Stevenson’s novel focused on the “cheval glass” since it represented a feminine object (42). Others wondered what “Jekyll [would] want with it” since it was as noted before a feminine object (Stevenson 42). The cheval glass (mirror), especially in the Victorian era, was seen that only women would be using it. Men were seen not to care about their appearance. Therefore, wouldn’t need a mirror. Homosexual men are seen as feminine. Which emphasizes a reason for them to have a mirror. Evidently, Jekyll having the mirror proves that Jekyll is a homosexual…show more content…
Just as a person can’t control their urge for food, Jekyll couldn’t control his homosexual urges. Once he lost control of what he thought he had, he isolated himself for fear of being found out. Jekyll is beginning to lose control of his life and is becoming more like Hyde. Thus further emphasizing the destruction of his life as Jekyll. Jekyll hid away due to his fear of being found out. When Jekyll “was seized again with those indescribable sensation that heralded then change”, he went to “shelter” in his “cabinet” before he was “raging and freezing with the passions of Hyde” (64). For he was scared for the punishment he would receive if he was found out. Such as blackmail, losing standing in his community, while also receiving life imprisonment or death from the state. With this going on and his good friend Mr. Utterson trying to find out why he was gone, Jekyll was always stressed. When Utterson and Poole barged through the door, Jekyll couldn’t be seen for what he was. He hid his true authentic self to the very end. For when Utterson called Jekyll a “‘self-destroyer’ Utterson concludes, not only because he has killed himself, but because it is self-destructive to violate the sexual codes of one’s society”(Showalter 113). For the main reason, Jekyll ended his life was because he went against what was societal norms during the time. He was gay and that was illegal. Which is why he had a double life as Hyde. Which finally led him to become a self-destroyer,
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