Stevenson uses the door as a major symbol to hide the evil acts and secrets of Dr. Jekyll. In the critical essay, Woman and Sadism in Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde “City in a Nightmare,” Charles Campbell analyzes the door by noting, “It is not the theatre door of his own repression, which would involve an accession of self-knowledge, but the ‘door covered with red baize’ of Jekyll’s cabinet, to which ‘flight of stairs mounted’ the inner sanctum of the disastrous experiment with human identity” (Campbell 7). Stevenson includes detail such as the door being “a red baize” to illustrate Jekyll 's inner emotions of anger, brutality, and lust for the evil side, Mr. Hyde. He describes Jekyll’s repression and uses a theatre door, which is usually depicted as massive, to amplify the magnitude of Dr. Jekyll 's devious inner feelings he is trying to repress. Jekyll’s evil thoughts are too overbearing for him to handle; therefore, his insanity drives him to climb the “flight of stairs” to the highest act of change in identity. Furthermore, Stevenson realizes the truth behind Jekyll’s mind by observing that the “the red door is the entrance to the room where Jekyll’s ‘pleasures [which] were (to say the least) undignified’ (73) become the vicious sadism of Hyde” (Campbell 7). This door is continuously presente...
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...good or evil, but to warn us of the strength and ultimate triumph of evil over good once sin is suffered to enter human habitation’” (Thomason 9). It is evident that Dr. Jekyll is a prestige example that humans do not know their own strength mentally, nor do they know their own strength physically. In Jekyll’s upright attempt to separate the good from the evil, evil prevailed over good. Evil, Edward Hyde, had the highest victory over good, Henry Jekyll, in being fatal to both characters.
Robert Louis Stevenson is prosperous in his use of symbolism and thematic devices in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He proves Jekyll to be an honest character who becomes corrupt over the evil desires that occupy his subconscious. Stevenson’s thorough characterization and detail in symbolism exceedingly epitomize Leon Brown’s wise words; “You are you own worst enemy.”
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