theme of man's duality in R L Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr.
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The story 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' portrays man's duality to
perfection. This story can be classified as Science Fiction. He
scientist Dr Jekyll wants to have self-satisfaction that he can master
two personalities with perfection. The Victorian Society is the
backdrop of this novel and the moral code turns people into hypocrites
because they lead double lives.
Dr. jekyll is a renowned doctor and a scientist. He firmly believes
that there is a "beast" in very man and he is determined to create his
evil half man and he is determined to create his evil half in the body
of Mr. Hyde. His social status and rich circle of friends made him the
center of attraction as an eligible bachelor to high society females.
He lives in a world where pretence is uncounted for in the social
circle of friends. This novel brings out a world in which appearance
clashes with reality, a world of illicit desires and repressed
The Victorian times bring out two types of society, on one hand we
have the respectable deeply religious and polite society, on the other
hand we have the illiterate and the brothels. The two never mix, and
that is why Robert Stevenson provided this background to bring out the
theme of 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'. The novel is a story of horror and
terrifying consequences. It can be termed as an allegory with a deep
" There are more things in heaven and earth,
Than are dreamt of in one's philosophy"
Stevenson's story of duality is based on the imperfection of human
nature and proves that man is fitted to make mistakes.
... middle of paper ...
In life our illicit desires change our personalities and then we crave
for longing of peace of mind, which we cannot achieve. Jekyll's pride
paid a price, which Stevenson brings out in these words,
"If I am he chief of sinners then I am the chief of suffers"
Jekyll became a prisoner of his own evil desires. He took pride in all
his doings and his words ring in the ears of the reader.
" I was the first that could plod in the public eyes with a cad of
genial respectability and in a moment like a school boy, strip off
these landings and spring headlong into the sea of liberty."
The thought gave him the strength to face the consequences of Hyde's
actions. Jekyll was looking for freedom but eventually got enslaved in
the hands of evil. We must learn the message that Stevenson tries to
give in his novel that with great power comes great responsibility.
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