Dr. Jekyll admits that one of his flaws is a tendency towards the bad side or “evilness”. Dr. Jekyll may tried to be a moral, grave, and somber man like Mr. Utterson, but before he knew it, his inner evil, wild side was begging to be let loose. So he thought he came up with the perfect solution to all of his problems by creating an alter ego. Except, instead of it going exactly as planned, Dr. Jekyll accidentally created an evil alter ego through his mysterious potion. His alter ego, Edward Hyde, who has a completely different appearance and personality, gets to do all the evil and illegal things that Dr. Jekyll, or any normal person can’t during the Victorian era with such high standards for a morally good person.
In , religion functions as a lens that one can view both good and evil. Religion gives the characters rules so they can separate good from evil into distinct and clear-cut categories. Biographical information about Stevenson and his engagement with religion may help to explain why he decided to incorporate religion into his story and give the reader some insight on his own religious beliefs. The Victorian era notions of God and religion in the “Age of Doubt” may help to explain why Stevenson incorporated religion into his story. Throughout the 19th century, there was the science and religion debate, which also may be the reason why Stevenson incorporated both of these topics in his story. There are various references to religion within the book that help the readers determine the view of good and evil. The duality of good and evil is an important concept in the novel because it can help the characters separate them into distinct and clear-cut categories. God and Satan figure prominently in . In the novel, Dr. Jekyll is supposed to represent a god-like creator and Mr. Hyde is supposed to represent a satanic-like devil. Now one can begin to understand how religion and morals play an important role in the story and are able to explain why Stevenson may have incorporated them into his story.
It can now be concluded that what causes a man to feel "a shudder in his blood" (16) in the presence of Mr. Hyde is not simply one aspect of his character. Instead, it is the combination of evil, disability and inability to be controlled that makes Mr. Hyde so scary to characters in and readers of Stevenson's tale, even today. Evilness creates Hyde's disabled body (or vice versa) and when he, an evil, disabled, sub-human becomes uncontrolled, it is terrifying. Mr. Hyde crosses the boundaries that protect "us" from "them." But there is one more description of Hyde, the most in-depth portrayal in the book, which has yet to be explored. It reads:
Hyde and take him away to the police station. Jekyll's serum inspires brain to take it so that he can break Big Ben in this monster form whenever Brian gets angered. The 2. 00. 7 TV serial Jekyll aired in the UK from 1. June 2. 00. 7 where it starred James Nesbitt as Tom Jackman, a modern Jekyll whose Hyde persona wreaks havoc in modern London. NBC's Do No Harm is a modern retelling of the Jekyll and Hyde story featuring a renamed Jekyll- like character named Dr.
Echoes of such paternalism exist between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, where Dr. Jekyll claims to have "had more than a father's interest" while he says "Hyde had more than a son's indifference" (Stevenson 59). Mr. Hyde, however, rejected Dr. Jekyll as a controlling father figure, coming into existence without Jekyll's permission while he slept. As Dr. Jekyll puts it, "I was slowly losing hold of my original and better self, and becoming slowly incorporated with my second and worse" (59). In short, Hyde was taking over. He was rejecting Dr. Jekyll as a father figure. Rather than being confined and controlled, as people with disabilities were at the time, Mr. Hyde crossed the boundaries and dared to enter "normal" society and wreak whatever havoc he could on those who mocked, feared or rejected him. The "murderous mixture of timidity and boldness" (15) ascribed to Mr. Hyde early in the text eventually becomes pure boldness and inability to be socially controlled. This rejection of rules, this crossing of boundaries, is the final cause of the fear of Mr. Hyde. The fact that he can be free with his uncontrolled, evil, disabled body, and that "normal" society is potentially no longer safe from him, is terrifying to characters in the stories, to readers then, and to a degree one may or may not wish to admit readers now as well.
This was the first time that an involuntary metamorphosis had happened in waking hours. Far from his laboratory and hunted by the police as a murderer, Mr. Hyde needed help to avoid being caught. He wrote to Lanyon (in Dr.
The relationship between scientific discourse and the Victorian Gothic is greatly emphasised when reading Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novella The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The work is now associated with the mental condition of a 'split personality', where two personalities of differing character reside in one person. However, the text was written before the science of psychology was firmly established, and the novella itself appears to be influenced by a variety of scientific theories predominant in the late-Victorian era.
Narrative structure is particularly important in novels. In Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson uses a number of narratives to build up a sense of mystery and suspense. Contemporary Victorian readers would have read Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde as a mystery story, wondering throughout about the connection between the two men. The narrative point of view here is crucial in revealing the truth.
This passage explains the Calvinism religion and its connections to . This is interesting religious context to have when reading the book and may help to explain a lot. But while studying at Edinburgh University he informed his father that he no longer believed in the Christian faith and declared himself an agnostic, which is father was not too happy about. Throughout his life he was recurrently distressed with illnesses and had serious lung problems. Despite his poor health, he also used numerous drugs such as alcohol, cannabis, and opium. Stevenson later claimed that the plot of was revealed to him in a dream. Most would argue that this novel was written to be a moral allegory. Scholar James Washick who wrote the journal article “The Elision of Christ in Mary Reilly” argues “That Stevenson intended Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as a moral allegory is not only documented in both his own writings and that of his wife, Fanny, but also supported strongly by Stevenson’s extensive use of biblical allusions, terminology, and concepts” (Washick 170). Washick argues that there is proof that this novel was supposed to be a moral allegory. Not only does biographical information about Stevenson and his engagement with religion help to explain why he decided to incorporate religion into his story, but also so does the historical time period.
Cesare Lombroso's theory of atavism (discussed in greater detail in 'The Victorian Gothic' essay on this website) appears to have greatly influenced Stevenson's novella. The unsettling, dwarfish appearance of Edward Hyde and the violent behaviour he exhibits are clear atavistic traits. The Italian Criminologist Cesare Lombroso[Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons Jekyll and Hyde is not the only text in which Stevenson manipulates Gothic tropes. In his short story 'Olalla', elements of atavism and heredity curses are woven into the story to create terror; the central protagonist becomes the victim of a bestial attack committed by the atavistic mother of the family with whom he is lodging.
Jekyll's hand), asking his friend to retrieve the contents of a cabinet in his laboratory and to meet him at midnight at Hastie Lanyon's home in Cavendish Square. In Lanyon's presence, Mr. Hyde mixed the potion and transformed back to Dr. The shock of the sight instigated Lanyon's deterioration and death. Meanwhile, Jekyll returned to his home only to find himself ever more helpless and trapped as the transformations increased in frequency and necessitated even larger doses of potion in order to reverse them. It was the onset of one of these spontaneous metamorphoses that caused Dr. Jekyll to slam his laboratory window shut in the middle of his conversation with Enfield and Utterson.