Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Topics: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edinburgh Pages: 3 (1233 words) Published: April 11, 2005
Jekyll and Hyde Analysis

In this essay on the story of Jekyll and Hyde written by Robert Louis Stevenson I will try to unravel the true meaning of the book and get inside the characters in the story created by Stevenson. A story of a man battling with his double personality. In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Hyde becomes Jekyll's demonic, monstrous alter ego. Certainly Stevenson presents him immediately as this from the outset. Hissing as he speaks, Hyde has "a kind of black sneering coolness . . . like Satan". He also strikes those who witness him as being "pale and dwarfish" and simian like. The Strange Case unfolds with the search by the men to uncover the secret of Hyde. As the narrator, Utterson, says, "If he be Mr. Hyde . . . I shall be Mr. Seek". Utterson begins his quest with a cursory search for his own demons. Fearing for Jekyll because the good doctor has so strangely altered his will in favor of Hyde, Utterson examines his own conscience, "and the lawyer, scared by the thought, brooded a while in his own past, groping in all the corners of memory, lest by chance some Jack-in-the-Box of an old iniquity should leap to light there" (SC, 42). Like so many eminent Victorians, Utterson lives a mildly double life and feels mildly apprehensive about it. An ugly dwarf like Hyde may jump out from his own boxed self, but for him such art unlikely creature is still envisioned as a toy. Although, from the beginning Hyde fills him with a distaste for life (SC, 40, not until the final, fatal night, after he storms the cabinet, can Utterson conceive of the enormity of Jekyll's second self. Only then does he realize that "he was looking on the body of a self-dcstroyer" (SC, 70); Jekyll and Hyde are one in death as they must have been in life. Poole, Jekyll's servant, and Lanyan, his medical colleague, are even more incredulous. When Poole sees Jekyll/Hyde in his final form, he thinks he sees his master with a "mask" on his face: "that thing was not [118/119] my master...
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