Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Good @Evil

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Dr. Henry Jekyll - A respected doctor and friend of both Lanyon, a fellow physician, and Utterson, a lawyer. Jekyll is a seemingly prosperous man, well established in the community, and known for his decency and charitable works. Since his youth, however, he has secretly engaged in unspecified dissolute and corrupt behavior. Jekyll finds this dark side a burden and undertakes experiments intended to separate his good and evil selves from one another. Through these experiments, he brings Mr. Hyde into being, finding a way to transform himself in such a way that he fully becomes his darker half. Mr. Edward Hyde - A strange, repugnant man who looks faintly pre-human. Hyde is violent and cruel, and everyone who sees him describes him as ugly and deformed—yet no one can say exactly why. Language itself seems to fail around Hyde: he is not a creature who belongs to the rational world, the world of conscious articulation or logical grammar. Hyde is Jekyll’s dark side, released from the bonds of conscience and loosed into the world by a mysterious potion. Mr. Gabriel John Utterson - A prominent and upstanding lawyer, well respected in the London community. Utterson is reserved, dignified, and perhaps even lacking somewhat in imagination, but he does seem to possess a furtive curiosity about the more sordid side of life. His rationalism, however, makes him ill equipped to deal with the supernatural nature of the Jekyll-Hyde connection. While not a man of science, Utterson resembles his friend Dr. Lanyon—and perhaps Victorian society at large—in his devotion to reasonable explanations and his denial of the supernatural. Mr. Poole - Jekyll’s butler. Mr. Poole is a loyal servant, having worked for the doctor for twenty years, and his concern for his master eventually drives him to seek Utterson’s help when he becomes convinced that something has happened to Jekyll. Mr. Enfield - A distant cousin and lifelong friend of Mr. Utterson. Like Utterson, Enfield is reserved, formal, and scornful of gossip; indeed, the two men often walk together for long stretches without saying a word to one another. Mr. Guest - Utterson’s clerk and confidant. Guest is also an expert in handwriting. His skill proves particularly useful when Utterson wants him to examine a bit of Hyde’s handwriting. Guest notices that Hyde’s script is the same as Jekyll’s, but slanted the other way. {text:bookmark-start} {text:bookmark-end} Sir Danvers Carew - A well-liked old nobleman, a member of Parliament, and a client of Utterson. Analysis of Major Characters

{text:bookmark-start} {text:bookmark-end} Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde One might question the extent to which Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are in fact a single character. Until the end of the novel, the two personas seem nothing alike—the well-liked, respectable doctor and the hideous, depraved Hyde are almost opposite in type and personality. Stevenson uses this marked contrast to make his point: every human being contains opposite forces within him or her, an alter ego that hides behind one's polite facade. Correspondingly, to understand fully the significance of either Jekyll or Hyde, we must ultimately consider the two as constituting one single character. Indeed, taken alone, neither is a very interesting personality; it is the nature of their interrelationship that gives the novel its power. Despite the seeming diametric opposition between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, their relationship in fact involves a complicated dynamic. While it is true that Jekyll largely appears as moral and decent, engaging in charity work and enjoying a reputation as a courteous and genial man, he in fact never fully embodies virtue in the way that Hyde embodies evil. Although Jekyll undertakes his experiments with the intent of purifying his good side from his bad and vice versa, he ends up separating the bad alone, while leaving his former self, his Jekyll-self, as mixed as before. Jekyll succeeds in liberating his darker side,...
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