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Jekyll 01

By Valeria-Makharynets Apr 16, 2015 1111 Words
Doctor Jekyll responsible for what Mr. Hyde does? “Man is not truly one, but truly two." Have you ever thought of being someone else? Whether it's a successful entrepreneur, actor or sports figure? Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel "The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" considered an original classic, due to not only the manner in which it's written but also due to a number of timeless themes consisting of philosophical questions regarding human being. One that is particularly thrilling is the nature if the human dualism and the question of whether or not Dr. Jekyll is responsible for what Mr. Hyde does. Throughout the novel the two characters appear to be two separate individuals. Jekyll is handsome and “good” in the eyes of society whereas Hyde is ugly and “evil” when viewed through society’s glasses. This occurs especially because they are so different in nature. As the reader we recognize that they are actually two different individuals living in the same body. Because Jekyll and Hyde are embodied in the same individual we realize that they are both handsome and ugly, or, more importantly, both good and evil. I suppose that Robert Louis Stevenson's goal was to create the novel where he would explore the several popular themes of that time and keep it suspenseful, which makes the reader engaged till the very last page. Author uses a variety of writer's technics to convey the vivid image of Dr. Jekyll, generally good doctor who creates an alter ego of himself through a scientific experiment - ugly Mr. Hyde. In my opinion, Dr. Jekyll's responsibility for Mr. Hyde’s actions is a complex question and in order to answer it properly we need to examine several different factors. First we should look at the way Stevenson portray night London. He connects dark fogged gloomy atmosphere of the city with all the evil events surrounding Hyde. Author goes a great length to describe every little detail that the reader has no doubt that crime would be unpunished in the labyrinth of twisted wicked dark streets. One of the main characters, Utterson, experiences nightmares: “He would be aware of the great field of lamps of a nocturnal city. . . . The figure of Hyde . . . haunted the lawyer all night; and if at any time he dozed over, it was but to see it glide more stealthily through sleeping houses, or move the more swiftly . . . through wider labyrinths of lamp-lighted city, and at every street corner crush a child and leave her screaming.” In other words, growing city of London provides freedom to Dr. Jekyll to carry out his experiment without drawing much attention because strangers who walk its fogged night streets disregard Hyde and therefore that environment provides ideal cover and anonymity for Hyde’s crimes. Another factor that needs to be examined is the fact that Dr. Jekyll’s experiment of separating “good” and “evil” did not go as planned. “It was on the moral side, and in my own person, that I learned to recognize the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both; and from an early date . . . I had learned to dwell with pleasure, as a beloved daydream, on the thought of the separation of these elements.” This quotation is from Chapter 10, “Henry Jekyll’s Full Statement of the Case." This where Dr. Jekyll talks about duality of the human nature and his intent to separate two elements: good and bad from his own personality. The result of an experiment is that Jekyll separated his evil side into Mr. Hyde and ideally was supposed to remain purely good, while in reality he remained a mix of good and evil. As the story unfolds Hyde begins to take over Jekyll’s conscious, until Jekyll as a personality disappears completely and only Hyde remains. In other words, perhaps Dr. Jekyll’s dark side (Hyde) was far stronger than the rest of Henry —when set free, this side dominates his behavior. That leads us to the third factor we need to look at – Dr. Jekyll’s behavior after his realization of the experiment. Jekyll does not seem to feel any guilt to stop or at least resist the urge to continue his transformations. “Henry Jekyll stood at times aghast before the acts of Edward Hyde,” Jekyll writes, “but the situation was apart from ordinary laws, and insidiously relaxed the grasp of conscience. It was Hyde, after all, and Hyde alone, that was guilty.” The idea of Hyde being responsible for all the evildoing seems as a silly childish-like self-justification. Obviously to the reader and Dr. Jekyll himself deep down inside that first of all he is the one who created Hyde in the real world, understanding Hyde’s evil nature. “But I was still cursed with my duality of purpose; and as the first edge of my penitence wore off, the lower side of me, so long indulged, so recently chained down, began to growl for licence. Not that I dreamed of resuscitating Hyde; . . . no, it was in my own person that I was once more tempted to trifle with my conscience. . . .However, this brief condescension to my evil finally destroyed the balance of my soul. And yet I was not alarmed; the fall seemed natural, like a return to the old days before I had made discovery. It was a fine . . . day. . . . I sat in the sun on a bench; the animal within me licking the chops of memory;” This quote shows the reader, that Stevenson also left out some parts of Dr. Jekyll’s biography pointing indirectly that he might have done some evil things in the past. In other words, Mr. Hyde that emerged from Dr. Jekyll must have the foundation on which he was created in the subconscious of the doctor. In conclusion, I would point out that the city of London has created fertile atmosphere for Dr. Jekyll’s experiments, providing him and Hyde with the cloak of anonymity. However, we have determined that Dr. Jekyll failed to recognize that his experiment went in the wrong direction, when he separated pure evil from within but did not become pure good himself as originally planned. In my opinion, Dr. Jekyll is largely responsible for Mr. Hyde’s crimes because he continued his experiments and transformations self-justifying that he himself is not responsible to Mr. Hyde’s evil deeds. The bottom line is that Dr. Jekyll was the one who let the evil creature inside of him of the chain and gave Mr. Hyde all the power.

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