March 11, 2012
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Essay
In Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, he uses an allegory to reflect the two sides of humans: the good and the evil. Every human has a good and evil side that reside inside them; some show it and some stick to only acting on one for their whole life.
Dr. Jekyll lives his life with certain urges that he cannot satisfy because of his own guilt. In order to fulfill these urges, he creates another form of himself to act on them: Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll creates two different personas to act out the good and well mannered and the evil. Once Jekyll finds that his second persona, Mr. Hyde, is becoming increasingly more evil, he cannot control him.
In the Victorian society, many things were unacceptable or looked down upon. Because of this rigid societal upbringing, it was difficult for Dr. Jekyll to act on all of his wants and needs. Most people living in the Victorian age must have had some sort of other secret life because of the strict boundaries of how to think and how to act. Hyde expressed the freer, more natural man that Jekyll could never show publicly. He had to maintain a professional, well mannered persona for the society he lived in.
The psychoanalysis behind these characters reveals that within humans, there is a part that is acceptable to society and a more spontaneous and different part living in the subconscious. This second persona is thought to be brought out through dreams or fantasies. In the Victorian times, there was a strict divide among classes. The lower class participated in illegal acts that the high society was tempted to enjoy.
In the end, it was Mr. Hyde who was able to survive against society, while Dr. Jekyll fell.