Throughout The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson uses internal conflict, plot, and characterization to show that inner evil cannot be suppressed.
Over the course of the story, Dr. Jekyll must deal with frequent internal conflict. He struggles mercilessly with his own evil impulses. Jekyll tries to ignore these impulses, but ultimately gives into them. The doctor explains, “It was on this side that my new power tempted me, until I fell into slavery. I had but to drink the cup, to doff at once the body of the noted professor, and to assume, like a thick cloak, that of Edward Hyde” (Stevenson 59). Because he attempts to repress his impulses for so long, Jekyll simply cannot resist the urge to pursue them as soon as the opportunity arises. Jekyll also has difficulty dealing with Hyde’s presence as the story progresses. When Hyde makes his first appearance, Jekyll’s suppression makes him small and relatively weak; however, the more Jekyll transforms into Hyde, the more powerful and pronounced Hyde’s presence becomes. Stevenson writes, “The powers of Hyde seemed to have grown with the sickliness of Jekyll. And certainly the hate that now divided them was equal on each side. He had now seen the full deformity of that creature […H]e thought of Hyde, for all his energy of life, as of something not only hellish but inorganic” (Stevenson 69). Jekyll gives Hyde a more impacting presence than before, and with it Hyde slowly starts to challenge Jekyll. Although he had repressed both his evil impulses and his wicked side for long periods in the past, Hyde begins consuming Jekyll the second he decides to explore them.
Through different aspects of the plot, Stevenson makes evident the irrepressibility of man’s inner evil. Jekyll can only keep control for periods of time. He holds Hyde at bay for a short while, but he cannot stop the unavoidable. He recounts, “I laboured to relieve suffering; you know that much was done for others, and that the...
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