The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a novella written in the 19th century by Robert Louis Stevenson. In his writings, Stevenson was fascinated by the ideas of concealment, double life, and the broader issue of human duality. The characters, Dr. Jekyll and his evil half Mr. Hyde, experience the behaviors of a split personality or that of the divided self. The divided self can be compared to a drug addict, where Jekyll would be the sober state, and Hyde would be the high or intoxicated state. Just like the contemporary drug addict, Dr. Jekyll's addiction begins with denial and quickly leads to isolation and self-destruction. Signs of Jekyll's denial first surface at the end of his dinner party when Utterson comments that he has been becoming increasingly informed about Hyde. In Jekyll's response, he tells Utterson, "the moment I choose, I can be rid of Mr Hyde" (23). Jekyll's statement is comparable to how contemporary drug addicts claim they can stop anytime they please. Jekyll insists that Utterson be at ease about Hyde. Later the reader finds that Jekyll has not rid himself of his evil side when Hyde has been convicted for murder of a man in London. Jekyll's denial begins to foreshadow his isolation. As Jekyll pleads to Utterson, "this is a private matter, and I beg of you to let it sleep" (23) Jekyll begins shutting Utterson out of his life as he will with everyone else. As this type of behavior continues Jekyll moves closer to a state of solitude. After a small amount of time with no reappearances of Hyde, Jekyll hosts a dinner party. A few days later when Utterson tries to visit Jekyll he is rejected admittance when Jekyll's butler, Poole, tells Utterson that Jekyll is not receiving any visitors. At the end of the story the reader finds out that Jekyll has changed into Hyde, but involuntarily. "Yes, I had gone to bed Henry Jekyll, I had awakened Edward Hyde. How was this to be explained" (67)? Now...
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