Explore the Presentation of Duality in Stevenson's Novella, 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'

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Stevenson’s book puts a nice twist on the whole concept of good and evil by having the evil character residing inside the good character. In earlier gothic novels the good and evil were always separated and often the stories were set in faraway places overseas, but in his novella Stevenson has changed this by bringing the story into the habitat of the readers, setting the scene outside their houses and bringing the evil monster inside people. At the time this must have made the story very different, the evil character could disappear and lay waiting inside Jekyll ready to burst out at any time. The concept of duality in Jekyll and Hyde is interesting because Jekyll is Hyde, the good is the evil, and Jekyll knows that inside him is something terrible and, although he tries to control it, he knows that the evil in him will come out and he will be left in the passenger seat, watching. This is further shown in the way that Stevenson presents Hyde; Hyde is smaller than Jekyll, he is broad and hairy and rather short and Jekyll’s clothes do not fit him. This suggests that the evil side of Jekyll is smaller than his good side and can be controlled. The relationship between Jekyll and Hyde is also interesting; Stevenson relates it to the relationship between a father and a son. He writes ‘Jekyll has more of a father’s interest; and Hyde more than a son’s indifference’. This is a strange notion because Jekyll knows that Hyde is evil and yet he still has a close relationship, this is possibly because in Hyde Jekyll sees some of himself, all of his desires and urges that he has suppressed to fit in with middle class life in London, he realises that he is Hyde, and that to destroy Hyde he must first destroy himself, and I think he decides that he can live with Jekyll and is very distressed when his drugs work less and less effectively and he realises that in time they will stop working all together and he will lose what is his good side and become what he fears the most,...
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