Personality and the Beast Within in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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Personality and the Beast Within in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Everyone has a dual personality, two sides, good and evil. Robert Louis Stephenson uses the book to explain this, he wanted people to realise that not only Dr Jekyll carries a double personality, but the other characters in the book too. Also the people reading it must see that they too, are a part of this frightening uncontrollable fact, that there is “the beast within” us all. Stephenson suggests that all gentlemen keep secrets, suppress emotions, desires, and hide their true inner self. In the story Mr. Utterson is a great example of a gentleman (lawyer) needing to suppress his less socially acceptable side for the sake of preserving his respectable standing in society. ‘Though he enjoyed the theatre hadn’t crossed the doors of one for twenty years’… ‘Utterson was austere with himself’. Drinking only alone, having the security of knowing that he is the only person who might witness and therefore judge him, the respected gentleman could appear a little out of control. Mr.Utterson feels that if he indulges in luxuries such as these, he may become too involved and express himself freely, he’s frightened that he could ruin his image and loose his respectable reputation. Mr. Utterson hides his other side whereas Jekyll shows it, by choice or not. Once the theories of scientists such as Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer and T.H Huxley became known people began to think of the human struggle between good and evil and psychological terms. Ideas such as ‘The theory of evolution’ and the ‘survival of the fittest’, contradicted the teachings of the Old Testament, and lead many people to question Christianity. However many people w... ... middle of paper ... area reflecting the lives of Jekyll and Hyde. ‘…London, with excursions into low-life neighbourhoods, it too is about appearances and reputations, and involves an individual whom who lives a double life of outward pity and secret corruption. Jekyll uses the ugly deformed Hyde as his body double’… The ‘Beast within’ is studied in this book. The most obvious case of this is within Dr. Jekyll and, Mr Hyde, however it shows in the others too, not only in this book in the whole of civilisation. Once Dr. Jekyll has captured life for a while he is not just one, but two, Hyde is constantly struggling to get out, each fighting for control. Robert Louis Stephenson tried to show that everyone displays a certain threat from their other side, fighting to escape from their desired image and that it is not just apparent in this Gothic novel but within everyone.
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