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 ...
...cheap 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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