The Duality of Man in Literary Works and Critical Essays

Topics: Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Novella Pages: 4 (1595 words) Published: February 21, 2013
Unseen Ties: Codependency and Fallout in the Dual Brain interpreted from Literary Works and Critical Essays
The lifelong struggle for control and recognition of the human mind has been a popular and evolving science since the late-nineteenth-century. Many notable authors, scientists, and laymen have been fascinated with the study since then. Robert Louis Stevenson is one of the more notable authors to write about dual personalities with his short story, “Markheim,” and the novella, ”The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” The latter of these two stories has inspired the study of multiple personalities more than any other work of fiction, and perhaps any work of nonfiction. According to Anne Stiles, “[Stevenson’s wife] traces her spouses’ interest in dual personality to a specific article” informs the reader of one possibility where Stevenson got the notion for the novel (879). This article, "’combined with the memories of ‘Deacon Brodie’ who was publicly a respectable person but privately a thief and rakehell, gave the germ of the idea that afterwards developed into the play, was used again in the story of ‘Markheim,’ and finally, in a hectic fever following a hemorrhage of the lungs, culminated in the dream of Jekyll and Hyde" (Alliata 2). These stories demonstrate the struggle for dominance and the codependency of each half of the dual brain of man, and the destructive nature of unnatural separation of the two personalities.

Symbolism is a powerful tool in these literary works and demonstrates many theories regarding dual brain in humans. In Jekyll and Hyde, the names of the main characters have hidden meaning. Jekyll, Hyde can be interpreted two ways: Je is French for “I”, and kill hide, or I kill. Hide. The first of these can be viewed as a result of the events, with the latter interpreted as the events. Henry Jekyll represents masculinity, wealth, intelligence, and sanity. Edward Hyde, on the other hand, is effeminate, deformed, subhuman, and...
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