1 Kazrakus

Jekyll And Hyde Good Vs Evil Essay

Introduction: Good vs Evil – the Twisted Tale of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Dover Thrift Editions)

This is the first time  I have  read Robert Louis Stevenson’s  The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and I have not seen any of the film adaptations either. This is the kind of story that gives you nightmares. The story is beautifully written even though it’s a very strange tale, and I wondered what the deeper meaning was.

What is the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde About?

In life, no one is all good or all bad, and we have to find a way to allow both aspects of our selves to exist. One of the main characters Henry Jekyll is a man of science who is very unhappy and discontented with life. To change, instead of doing the really hard internal work required, he looks outside himself and mixes up a drug.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1912) Clip

If you cannot view the YouTube video of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1912) Clip.

He didn’t get the results  he was seeking. Two very different characters emerged, his old self, and a new self that was evil personified. Their appearances were like night and day – the evil self Mr Hyde oozed evil, was much younger looking and more sprightly. Hyde was like a walking time bomb, was easily provoked and acted violently for the simplest things, things that normal people would ignore.

Jekyll was present in the day and Hyde during the night. At first, Jekyll had control over which self presented itself, but after a while, his dark self Hyde started taking over and he kept on having to take larger and larger doses of the drug to no avail. In the end he killed himself, but in the quest to keep his secret, he endangered his long time friends.

For me the deeper meaning of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde are the dangers of living a lie, and seeking solutions outside of  ourselves for quick fixes. Often when we tell a lie, we have to tell more lies to keep others from finding out our secret. We’ve all been there, it’s a very human action, that’s what is so scary. There are seldom quick fixes in life and we have to do the hard work to become better. As I readDr. Jekyll & Mr. HydeI was thinking of the old adage, show me your company and I will tell you who you are.  His closest friends were very decent people, so what went wrong, was it his ego?

The sad thing is that when he was Hyde he enjoyed all the bad deeds he did, and when he was Jekyll he tried to make restitution and thought that was okay. In the end his conscience started to bother him. Jekyll tried to change and do the right thing but he was too far gone down the evil route.

Final Thoughts: the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

I recommend  Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson because it is  a perfect example of the struggle people go through daily. Life is never easy, and I think for us to succeed and not succumb to what Jekyll went through is to have a support network of people who we trust and respect, and we should take it one step further, we have share our feelings. No one ever succeeds alone in work or life.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Dover Thrift Editions)Stevenson Six Pack: An Inland Voyage, Treasure Island, The Body Snatcher, Jekyll & Hyde, Kidnapped and The Black ArrowA Child’s Garden of VersesRobert Louis Stevenson: Seven NovelsDelphi Complete Works of Robert Louis Stevenson (Illustrated)Robert Louis Stevenson: Complete Short Stories in One Volume: Short Story Collections by the prolific Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer, … Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Kidnapped and CatrionaKidnappedTreasure Island (illustrated) Deluxe EditionRobert Louis Stevenson: The Novels & The Short Stories (14 Books)

Further Reading

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Analysis and Themes Summary of “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson

Video Credit: Uploaded by kriblett on Jan 7, 2007

Filed Under: Book Summary and Review, Self-Help, Self-improvement, SummareviewTagged With: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920 film), Henry Jekyll, Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

The theme of good and evil in Stevenon's story relates to us today because there exists the eternal human dichotomy between good influences and evil influences, good impulses and evil impulses, good choices and acts and evil (or just bad) choices and acts. So whether today or the 19th century or post-2012, a story exploring the ultimate consequences of this dichotomy, and the dichotomy driven choices and actions, is always relevant.

The theme of good...

The theme of good and evil in Stevenon's story relates to us today because there exists the eternal human dichotomy between good influences and evil influences, good impulses and evil impulses, good choices and acts and evil (or just bad) choices and acts. So whether today or the 19th century or post-2012, a story exploring the ultimate consequences of this dichotomy, and the dichotomy driven choices and actions, is always relevant.

The theme of good versus evil is explored in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde through the dual personas of Dr. Jekyll. Jekyll's friend, Dr. Lanyon, split ways with Jekyll long before the time of the story because he disapproved of Jekyll's "unscientific" experiments:

"But it is more than ten years since Henry Jekyll became too fanciful for me. He began to go wrong, wrong in mind; .... I see and I have seen devilish little of the man. Such unscientific balderdash, ... would have estranged Damon and Pythias."

Jekyll experiments with separating evil impulses from his psyche and personality so that he might fully indulge in those impulses without ill effect to his profession or reputation. Thus his good nature is left to continue to shine in the community unimpeded and unthreatened by secret vice. This separated evil persona took on a physical manifestation very different from Jekyll's own appearance. In this evil persona, Mr. Hyde trampled upon the fallen body of a girl whom he had collided with in a bystreet. Showing no remorse, only fear of discovery and punishment, he went on from there to commit more and greater acts of evil. His final act of evil being the brutal causeless murder of a high ranking dignitary for which he is hunted, because a witness gave a description, and for which he will be hung if caught.

Good is represented by Utterson whose psyche and personality are integrated with good and evil in correct proportion and working together for the benefit of all, including Utterson: his psyche is governed by moral principles, virtues and values. As evil grew stronger and more accustomed to public manifestation and exertion of will, good Dr. Jekyll became weaker and smaller and less able to face people or responsibility. In the end, evil overpowered good and subsumed Jekyll's weakness within Hyde's unrelenting evil strength.

Stevenson's message that evil, when given reign and not dampened by moral values and good impulses, will always overpower weakened goodness is as eternal as the dichotomy within between good and evil impulses.

And ... that insurgent horror was knit to him closer than a wife, closer than an eye; lay caged in his flesh, where he heard it mutter and felt it struggle to be born; and at every hour of weakness, and in the confidence of slumber, prevailed against him and deposed him out of life.   

Leave a Comment

(0 Comments)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *