December 19, 2012
The Duality of Man
During the Victorian Period, people did not believe in dualism and thought it was unacceptable. Robert Louis Stevenson brings the possibility of another self in one person to life in his creation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The quote “Man is not truly one, but truly two” (Stevenson 43), can be defined as every soul contains elements of both good and evil but one is always dominant. Both sides of an individual cannot be strong at the same time; therefore one side becomes stronger and takes over one’s body. Dr. Jekyll allows Hyde to dominate his personality and eventually he is unable to control Hyde as time proceeds.
The duality of the brain during the nineteenth century explains that the left and right hemispheres each had its own function. The right hemisphere was supposedly dominated in the brains of the insane while the left hemisphere was associated with civilization. “While Jekyll exhibits left-hemisphere attributes, Hyde embodies right-hemisphere traits” (Stiles 4). Stevenson gives each of the hemispheres a life of its own in both characters. The left-brained Jekyll overpowered his right-brain urges which lead to the creation of the second persona. This secondary persona starts off as the weaker of the two but eventually grows stronger.
For some time, Jekyll had reasoned that there were two natures in himself. Over the years Jekyll repressed his more impulsive side because he was unsure how people would react towards this side. Everyone who knew Jekyll thought he was a respected doctor who was well mannered. Little did they know he had an evil alter ego, Hyde, which was hidden by the disguise of Jekyll. Eventually Jekyll decided to come to a conclusion “Though so profound a double-dealer, I was in no sense a hypocrite; both sides of me were in dead earnest” (Stevenson 42). Jekyll explains that both his sides were equally alike and learns how to deal with each...
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