Dr. Jekell and Mr. Hyde

Topics: Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Edinburgh Pages: 3 (842 words) Published: October 8, 1999
By: Susy
E-mail: lover@aol.com

The Dominion of Evil The term "Jekyll and Hyde", now a part of our common language, can be found in most dictionaries. Random dictionary definitions of "Jekyll and Hyde" include: 1) "One who has quasi-schizophrenic, alternating phases of pleasantness an unpleasantness." 2) "A person having a split personality, one side of which is good and the other evil." 3) "This phrase refers to a person who alternates between charming demeanor and extremely unpleasant behavior." This concept revolves around the experience of Dr. Jekyll, enabled by drinking a potion, into living as his own living side, whom he names Hyde. Stevenson intended Jekyll's character to be pronounced Je (French word for "I") Kill (Je-Kill = I kill), as an indication that the doctor wanted to isolate the evil portion of himself, appropriately named "Hyde," meaning low and vulgar hide or flesh which must hide from civilization. When Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the story Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, he portrayed man's evil nature as a portion of his total makeup, and showed that the evil portion will often express itself more forcefully and powerfully than do the other aspects. Throughout life, a person can develop a sense of the conflict that actually involves one's good and evil natures. Often a person's current actions reflect their childhood experiences. Jekyll, described by Stevenson, born wealthy, grew up handsome, honorable, and distinguished. Yet, throughout much of his life, he commits secret acts which he thoroughly regrets. Early in Jekyll's development, Stevenson had him recognize a "profound duplicity of life...so profound a double dealer" and "that man is not truly one, but truly two." Intellectually, he evaluates the differences between his private life and his public life and, ultimately, he becomes obsessed with the idea that at least two different entities, maybe even more, occupy a person. Jekyll's reflections and his scientific knowledge lead him to...
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