Evil or Evolution: a Study of Stevenson’s the Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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Evil or Evolution: A Study of Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde First published in 1885, Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a story about a distinguished Victorian doctor, Henry Jekyll, who discovers a way to transform himself into another persona, Edward Hyde, who unlocks or amplifies thoughts, feelings, and desires not normally expressed by Dr. Jekyll but are the norm for Mr. Hyde. A scene of the text will be analyzed. A comparison will be made as to the motives of Hyde’s actions between Darwin’s theory of evolution and an evil nature as described in the Holy Bible. Both of these were hot topics of culture in the Victorian era as Darwin’s views were starting to challenge the Bible as the reason of man’s existence. Ultimately, it will be seen that Stevenson was influenced by both Darwin’s theory of evolution and the Holy Bible when writing Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Darwin’s theory of evolution focuses on common ancestry and natural selection. It says that different species of a certain animal descended from a common ancestor. As this ancestor migrated, depending on the habitat, those with advantageous attributes would survive and those without would die off. “Darwin had collected 13 similar but separate species of finches. Each finch species had a distinctive bill specialized for a particular food source.[…]The similarities of the Galapagos finches led Darwin to infer that the finches shared a common ancestor.” (Darwin’s Theory of Evolution) Those without a special bill to easily collect food would be not be selected by nature to continue their genealogy. Darwin was a Christian all of his life and never denied the existence of a creator. What kind of God would allow it’s creations to suffer and die off because He made them inadequate to survive in the world in which He put them? Perhaps it was God’s wrath and vengeance at work or maybe Satan himself, the source of all evil, had a hand in...
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