The Duality of Human Nature
One of the most vital concepts incorporated into The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the representation and depiction of the duality of mankind. Jekyll works to find a solution which will separate him into his reckless, immoral persona and his respectable, Victorian self. After consumption, this potion causes him to completely transform into a man who is known as Hyde. As Hyde, he can express himself in immoral, evil ways. This not only includes moral and immoral wants but rational and irrational wants. Not only does this transformation enable him to keep his good reputation even while he does horrid, unacceptable things, but it allows him to do things which he most likely would not even consider as Jekyll. Jekyll has suppressed this side of himself his entire life to maintain his level of respectability within the community. After experimenting with this potion, Jekyll has more and more frequent urges to let the ‘other half’ of himself out and begins to use it more often. Eventually, he finds that he unintentionally begins to turn into Hyde, before the final time he turns into Hyde and discovers he has no potion left to turn himself back.
The theory of duality in human nature can be tracked back to Sigmund Freud’s “iceberg” theory. This theory states that there are three segments to one’s personality. These three segments are the conscious, the preconscious, and the unconscious. The conscious mind consists of almost everything we are aware of. This includes things that we can remember and things that we can rationally justify. The preconscious mind consists of our memory. Even things which we are not completely aware of, we have the ability to move to the conscious mind at any time. The unconscious mind is a “reservoir of feelings, thoughts, urges, and memories that outside of our conscious awareness” (psychology.com). These could include immoral urges, irrational wishes, or unacceptable sexual desires. These...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document