In the 1880 s, Robert Louis Stevenson created the forever popular novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The story isn t simply about a man with two sides nor is it about a man taking a potion to be bad.
This is a story that can look as though it is as simple as good vs. evil but runs to the depths of man vs. man and self vs. self.
The well known basic theme of the novel involves the duality of good and evil. The classic tale of good vs. evil is just the surface of Jekyll and Hyde, the depth of it goes beyond a story into reality of the one that is kept inside most of us. The description of the street in the first chapter shows us the theme of duality. The street is described as any other street in London, with store fronts that stand out brightly in contrast of the dingy neighborhood… A door which is described as dull and blistered, where tramps slouch to strike matches on the panel and schoolboys stab knives into the moulding stands out from the well-kept commercial fronts.
We are now introduced to Hyde by a story. Hyde tramples over a young girl and pays people off not to say anything. This is where good and evil are reinforced. As Mr. Enfield watched this happen, Hyde runs through the door that so obviously represents a path toward evil. When Hyde is introduced in chapter two, even though we get the sense of evil from him already, he is described to have something physically wrong with him.
As though he s not a fully developed man. We are never told how he s disable but we know there is something completely wrong with him. While even looking at his name, Hyde pronounced like hide, which can be seen as a term to describe how he hides behind Jekyll. An interesting line is said in chapter three.
... Flannery O’connor wrote two short stories entitled “Good Country People” and “Revelation ... 8217;conner, Country 420). Manly Pointer is described as a self-righteous Christian selling Bibles. Along ... 8217; (O’conner, Revelation 451). This describes also Mrs. Turpin as self-righteous and forgiving ... end of the two stories. Joy Becomes a victim to a young man named Manly Pointer ...
I can be rid of Mr. Hyde at any point. Although this may be true, it s the concept of self versus self. Does Jekyll have control of Hyde or has he lost his control We see in the beginning of the book Jekyll drinking his potion to become Hyde for a short while. Towards the end of the book, Jekyll is drinking the potion every half-hour to keep Hyde from taking his identity. As we are told the graphic story of how Carew was murdered by the maid, again Stevenson gives us the theme of good and evil or beautiful and ugly.
The scene described as a beautiful night, clear and romantic in nature, full moon and under stands a calm old man who is then beaten with a cane until completely mangled. He proclaims his dominance by destroying pure good to represent pure evil. When Utterson goes into the laboratory in chapter five, he describes three dusty windows bared with iron, however a year ago, Enfield described those same windows from the outside as always shut but always clean. The dust so greatly built on the windows can be looked at the deteriorating condition of Dr.
Jekyll throughout the year. Just as he had imprisoned himself literally and figuratively, Jekyll feels as though society imprisoned him as well which motivates the experiments with Mr. Hyde. Later in the book, Utterson s full name is revealed. Gabriel John Utterson, which holds significance in itself. Gabriel, one of the four archangels given the roll of divine messenger and John which comes about several times in the New Testament as John the Baptist and John who wrote the Revelations.
Utterson is the teller of truth and a messenger which is his task from the beginning.