Book Review: Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Topics: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edinburgh Pages: 2 (528 words) Published: May 20, 2013
In the novel, Stevenson creates a hero in Dr. Jekyll, who aware of the evil in his own being, and sick of the duplicity in his life, succeeds by way of his experiments on himself in freeing the pure evil part of his being as Mr. Hyde, so that each can indulge in a life unfettered by the demands of the other. As Dr. Jekyll says, “With every day and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and intellectual, I thus drew steadily to that truth by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two.” He further adds,”… that I learned to recognize the thorough and primitive duality of man;… if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both”. Mr. Edward Hyde he describes as, “a second form and countenance substituted, none the less natural to me because they were the expression, and bore the stamp, of lower elements in my soul” and that, “Edward Hyde, alone in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil”.[2] Thus, Stevenson creates in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, two equipotent, coexistent, and eternally opposed components that make up a “normal” individual. Here, good and evil are not related but are two independent entities, individuals even, different in mental and physical attributes and constantly at war with each other. Evil now does not require the existence of good to justify itself but it exists simply as itself, depicted as being the more powerful, the more enjoyable of the two, and in the end ultimately it is the one that leads to Dr. Jekyll's downfall and death. This is because Dr. Jekyll in the last phases of his lucidity recognizes the danger that Mr. Hyde poses to society and altruistically decides to do away with himself. Stevenson seems to discard Christian notions of monism and embrace dualism as described above.Most significantly, Mr. Hyde enters and leaves Dr. Jekyll's house through the back door which seems a...
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