The Nature of Good and Evil and the Dual Nature of Man's Personality

1050 Words5 Pages
Discuss Stevenson's portrayal of the nature of good and evil and the dual nature of man's personality. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a novel about a man named Henry Jekyll who has a split personality. Dr Jekyll takes a potion to turn himself into his double, Mr Hyde. Dr Jekyll is a caring person. Mr Hyde is evil. It is when Jekyll's lawyer, Mr Utterson, looks at Dr Jekyll's will that his suspicions arise. He becomes suspicious because in Dr Jekyll's will everything Dr Jekyll owns is left to Mr Hyde when Dr Jekyll disappears. Utterson wants to know what the relationship between Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is, and becomes determined to see Mr Hyde. When a murder takes place, Utterson has a suspicion that it might have something to do with Mr Hyde. In this essay I am going to discuss Stevenson's portrayal of the nature of 'good' and 'evil,' and the dual nature of man's personality in the novel using Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde as my main focus. Mr Hyde is heartless; he tramples over a young girl without a care: "For the man trampled calmly over the child's body and left her screaming on the ground." This shows that Hyde didn't care that he hurt a child. Also, the phrase "trampled calmly" is an oxymoron, which is a contradiction in terms for a particular effect. The words trampled and calmly clash with one another. You can't trample calmly because the word 'trampled' is a very aggressive word, and the word 'calmly' is a very relaxed one. Therefore the words don't match up. The effect the words might have on the reader could be horrifying and confusing. It would be seen as horrifying because when the reader takes his/her first glimpse of the action it sounds aggressive, especially if being done to a child. On the ot... ... middle of paper ... ... one between good and evil. Owing to the complex, dual personality of this character, who in today's standards would be similar to a schizophrenic, combined with the events of the book, the reader faces a very interesting and horrifying story. However, the character is only complex because of the consumption of a potion or drug, then the one character is transformed into two individual opposite personalities. Because of Dr Jekyll's kind and generous nature he has a good friend in a lawyer, who tries to define the understanding of why Dr Jekyll would give his entire worldly possessions to Hyde, in the event of his disappearance. Mr Utterson's assessment of Mr Hyde is of a pure, evil, cold and heartless nature. Although Jekyll and Hyde seem opposite, they are the same person. The theme of the novel, therefore, is that good and evil exist together in man.
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