Both Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein tell cautionary tales of scientists abusing their creative powers to exist in another sphere where they cannot be directly blamed for their actions. Though Frankenstein's creation is a "Creature" distinct from his creator while Dr. Jekyll metamorphoses into Mr. Hyde, the "double" of each protagonist progressively grows more violent throughout his story. By doing so he symbolizes his creator's repressed desires in a stifling society.
The stories have parallel structures in the three main ways. First, both Dr. Jekyll and Frankenstein are scientists who, though welcomed by society, find it constraining and often alienate themselves. Each creates an alter ego for himself to live out his liberated passions, Hyde for Jekyll and the Creature for Frankenstein. Jekyll creates his with intention for evil and Frankenstein with the idea of building a supreme being. However, it could be argued that Frankenstein unconsciously wishes his creation to commit acts of sin. Hyde's and Frankenstein's first victims are children. They each evolve over time and develop their violent tendencies, culminating in the murder of a well-esteemed man for Hyde and Frankenstein's family and friends.
The first mention of Dr. Jekyll comes in a discussion between his longtime friends, Lanyon and Utterson, men whose names imply a traditional, hampered society. "Utterson" combines both "utter," connoting a squelched speech, with "son," defining the society's patriarchal structure, and "Lanyon" casts images of sprawling canyons that are noticeably absent in the gray, foggy London Stevenson depicts. Lanyon admits he sees little of Jekyll anymore; according to Lanyon, "'He began to go wrong, wrong in mind; and though of course I continue to take an interest in him for old sake's sake, as they say, I see and have seen devilish little of the man'" (12). Jekyll's associations with demonic and insane imagery...
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