Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Paper Rating: Word Count: 903 Approx Pages: 4

Is everyone a Dr. Jekyll: desperately attempting to keep his Mr. Hyde under control, secretly intrigued by what evil exists, and jealous of his incredible freedom from moral and political restraints? The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson was written during the reign of Queen Victoria when respect, religion, and reputation where the three "R's" of the time. This allegorical novella represents the struggles between evil and goodness within human beings and the inability for balance when in the context of a constraining and closed-minded society.

The strict standards of the Victorian Era are what force Dr. Jekyll to repress his feelings, because they are not commonly accepted by society. It is these social norms that cause him to compartmentalize his behaviors, which have been labeled as inappropriate or not, into the bodies of Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde. In his narrative, Dr. Jekyll says that, "Many a man would have blazoned such irregularities as [he] was guilty of; but for, the high views that [he] had set before [himself] [he] regarded and hid them with an almost morbid sense of shame" (42). Those irregularities are forced into the body of Mr. Hyde so that Dr. Jekyll can continue to lead a life of outward respectability, while displacing his inward lust, as Mr. Hyde. Mr. Hyde was able to be as powerful as he was because he was younger and more energetic.

In the course of [his] life, which had been, after all, nine-tenths a life of effort, virtue, and control, [evil] had been much less exercised and much less exhausted. And hence, as [he] think[s], it came about that Edward Hyde was so much smaller, slighter, and younger than Henry Jekyll. (45)

Mr. Hyde is able feed off of Dr. Jekyll's curiosity. The deformity of Mr. Hyde's physical characteristics proves that evil comes in many forms but is always recognized and reacted to in the same way. Humans are not capab... Continue Reading