Jekyll and Hyde Contrast

Topics: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson, Novella Pages: 3 (848 words) Published: March 24, 2013
Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde consists of reputation, good vs. evil and damage control. In other words, Utterson tirelessly works to prevent his good friend Dr. Jekyll from being dragged into the horrid affairs of Mr. Hyde, and Dr. Jekyll goes to the greatest of lengths to prevent his Hyde identity from being discovered, in order to avoid anyone knowing of his somewhat questionable scientific work and morally despicable behavior. Much of the novel is based on the characters reputations and how they have to maintain a good public image, as they are upper class people. The novel takes place in Victorian England and the main characters are all male members of upper class London. Enfield, Utterson, Lanyon and Jekyll are all aware of social expectations and the importance of appearance, Jekyll and Hyde shows a contrast of public vs private. Even in the first chapter, Enfield is wary of sharing his story of the mysterious door because he loves gossip, as it destroys reputations. In kind, Utterson refrains from informing the police that Jekyll is a close friend of Hyde's following the murder of Sir Danvers Carew. Rather, to maintain his friend's reputation and protect his public image, Utterson goes to Jekyll directly to discuss the matter.

This issue also arises in the matter of physical appearances, particularly architecture. In the first chapter, we learn that Hyde's mysterious dwelling is run down, neglected, and shabby. In contrast, Jekyll's home is extremely well kept, majestic, rich, and beautiful. Ironically, we eventually learn that the mysterious door is in fact connected to Jekyll's home, it is a back entrance rarely used. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is an examination of the duality of human nature, this is shown through the fact that Mr. Hyde is in fact Dr. Jekyll; the difference is that Hyde is formed through all the evil characteristics of Jekyll. Utterson's discovery of Jekyll's astounding work occurs in the final chapter of the novel. We have already witnessed...
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