Thursday, June 6, 2019
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by R. L. Stevenson Essay Example for Free
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by R. L. Stevenson EssayWhile Stevensons Jekyll and Hyde is a reflection of the times in which it is set in, it as well has substantial relevance for the new-made reader. Do you agree?The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by R. L. Stevenson was first published in 1886, during the Victorian era. The novel gives the reader a rattling vivid picture of the compositions and lifestyles of the people in that time. The mass is a reflection of times and has con em blotmentrable relevance for the modern reader.I partially agree with the incident that the book has relevance for the modern reader.Stevensons main inspiration for The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde came from the life of Deacon William Brodie. He moved easily among the g admittance during the day and majestic in criminal escapades at night. He was a respected ingredient of the Town Council, and his talents as a cabinet-maker were well cognize and appreciated b y flush(p) members of society. By night he roamed the dark and dangerous streets of Edinburgh. He frequently visited many gambling and whore abides. His life was 1 of great interest at the time, especially after his capture. The interest in Brodies life even inspired Stevenson to write a play about his life, this relates to the increasing interest in incompatibility stories in todays world. The mystery of his death still lingers, while interest about his life continues to grow.In 1859, a book cal lead On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin was published. The book inserted into the minds of the Victorian people that man had evolved from apes. Hence we see the frequent references to Mr. Hydes animal characteristics through out the book. The author makes Mr. Hyde seem less than a fully evolved man, more than akin to animals than the rest of mankind and he portrays this through the imagery of Mr. Hydes animalism. When Mr. Utterson first confronts him outside the laboratory entr ance to Dr. Jekylls house, he is said to be taking in breath with a hissing sound, desire that of a snake being cornered. Poole, Dr. Jekylls butler, describes his cry like that of a rat and his movements like a monkey his screams be described as mere animal terror.In his Full Statement of the Case Dr. Jekyll says that his indulgent life which was chain down, began to growl, just like an animal that has been chained down for a long time. He also says that his dual personality is like the animal within me licking the chops of memory. The Victorian readers would be very familiar with these descriptions of people. But a modern reader wouldnt agree with the fact that man had evolved from apes as science has proved that isnt so. But we do see the animal in man taking everyplace our actions, as we permit seen the inmilitary personnel treatment delivered to soldiers by their fellow soldiers in the World Wars. Suicide bombers and terrorist attacks too are modern actions depicting the be ast in man taking over the human personality.The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde also reflects the hypocrisy of the Victorian era. Being an MP, his death would contrive aroused a lot of curiosity among the people. By assisting Mr. Utterson, Inspector Newmans name would be made popular, especially if he found the criminal. Hence while he wanted help bring the MPs murderer to justice, he was also doing it to better his professional name. This attitude reflects human genius. Every person has an venomous side to their nature, Mr. Hyde reveals this side of our nature to society. By wanting to kill him, Poole, Mr. Utterson and the father of the girl who was trampled upon, were unconsciously rejecting and killing a part of their true selves and are unconsciously wicked of hypocrisy.This form of hypocrisy is still common today, where people know that they are doing is wrong but choose to deny the fact and continue with their actions. These men knew that at that place was an evi l side to their nature but choose to ignore the fact. The theme of hypocrisy is seen in the maid that Dr. Jekyll had employed in the Soho house, which was to be Mr. Hydes home, as she was known to be silent. But when Mr. Utterson and Inspector Newman arrive after the murder of Sir Danvers to inspect the house, she seems delighted with the fact that her master is in trouble, A flash of joy appeared upon the womans face..Dr. Jekyll is one of the best examples of hypocrisy in the book, as he fails to accept that the evil side of his nature was a natural part of his personality this denial led to his meltdown. He also had two faces or rather wore a public mask, which portrayed him as a very charitable and kind man. While in private he was committing murder and trampling on little children for no reason. We too are guilty of hypocrisy. We use people who are weaker than us to our public assistance sometimes our denial of certain facts causes us too to be guilty of hypocrisy, and at times female genitals lead to our defacement.Stevensons book looks at the duality of human nature, the good and evil sides which are within all of us. The author is analysing the consequences of emphasising too much of one side or a nonher of our nature. The theme of duality in mans nature is predominant in the novel. The theme is a very powerful description of the 19th century contradiction of outward respectability and inward lust, it also played a major role in the authors life. We see the theme being depicted in Dr. Jekylls attempts in separating the two elements of a persons nature. This theme is in general seen in the characters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekylls public image was one of a respected physician and chemist, someone who was respected by everyone he came in contact with. He was natural into a prosperous family and hence had a good education.He would also be a man of high civility and with good taste. If Dr. Jekyll was to unleash his evil side, people would wipe out been taken aback with his behaviour, as there was a certain degree of behaviour that had to be maintained among high rank members of society, like himself. In order to avoid this marring, he created Mr. Hyde. When unleashed Mr. Hyde committed some very evil crimes. The author gives us details of merely two of these incidents. The first, where he trampled over a little girl for no reason and walked away. Leaving her wounded and helpless on the street. The second, the murder of Sir Danvers Carew. The theme of duality in a persons character, is universal. state are always trying to hide their true selves out of fear that they may not get accepted into society, because peoples individuality isnt respected.People are pass judgment to be just like someone else. The images of the street that Dr. Jekyll lived on also contribute to the theme of duality. The street is described to have freshly painted shutters, well- refined brasses and general cleanliness and gaiety of note, instant ly caught and pleased the eye of the passenger. Two doors from one corner, on the left hand going east, the line was broken by the entry of a court and just at that point, a sinister block of building thrust forward its gable on the street. The structure is said to have no window, nothing but a door on the lower storey and a blind forehead of discoloured wall on the upper.. The offending region of the street is the entrance that Mr. Hyde used, while Dr. Jekyll used the main square entrance. Today too streets have two natures. In the day it may be a street with thriving trade, but when darkness falls the trade becomes acts of crime.The lack of a trail leady in the novel represents the male dominant Victorian society. This contrasts with todays society, where the womans place and role is slowly rising from that of the home maker, to playing a role as important as that of the male. In the Victorian era the woman was only supposed to have a family. As a member of the upper class then she would indulge in her hobbies for most of the day. Or as a member of the lower class she would hold the position of maid servant in the house of a member of the upper class. This idea juxtaposes with the modern idea of the womans place in society. Today women have secured positions in all fields of life.The modern reader will be very familiar with the idea that curtailment leads to violence. We see this idea being portrayed in the novel as well. R. L. Stevenson also uses imagery to depict this idea and help the reader visualise the message he is trying to convey. We are told that all the windows in Dr. Jekylls house have iron bars on them. These are symbols of his self imprisonment. His interest in droll science, led to his close friend Dr. Lanyon to end their professional relationship to end, and caused their friendly bond to drift further.The Victorian societys constraints, that is the certain level of behaviour that a member of a prosperous family had to maintain at all tim es and Dr. Jekylls feelings of imprisonment motivated his dangerous experiments to create Mr. Hyde, or an evil twin as it would be known in modern days. When Dr. Jekyll prevents himself from turning himself into Mr. Hyde, the result of the suppression was his murdering Sir Danvers Carew. His denial of the fact that a persons evil side cannot be separated from their character, his experiments which showed that the two elements an be separated, and his unsuccessful attempts of preventing himself from taking the drug to transform into Mr. Hyde causes his eventual destruction.The interest in anatomy and chemicals is also common in modern times. The man who owned Dr. Jekylls house before him was a surgeon. Hence the presence of the laboratory. Dr. Jekyll was a chemist by profession, and his job was related to the human body. He wanted to prove that man is not truly one, but truly two. He wanted to separate the two elements, and house them in different identities and relieving the world o f the intolerable.This idea is similar to that in bloody shame Shellys Frankenstein that is the idea of man playing God. This is a very common idea today as well, genetics is a fast growing industry as man wants to take the place of God. To prove this, he went about mixing drugs and concocted a potion that would change his appearance. This would enable him to unleash his evil side, without tainting his image and still maintaining his middle class respectability. Todays interest in chemicals and the anatomy is to duplicate species and to aid procreation like the creation of clones to cure diseases and also to destroy life, like in the creation of bombs and vicious gases.Addiction is another theme in the novel that has modern relevance. Dr. Jekyll was addicted to transforming into Mr. Hyde. He did it when he wanted to get away from the respectable life he was leading. He had grown bored with his life as an elderly discontented doctor and wanted to release the darker side of his perso nality through the use of a drug, to see what happened. Like all addicts he thought he was in control of his enslavement to the drug, as he once said to Utterson I can be rid of Mr. Hyde at any time. In reality if the compulsion isnt stopped as soon as it is started it begins to control the addicts life, and from then on theres no going back. With the stresses of living in todays modern world an addict will be able to relate to Dr. Jekylls addiction to the drug that would withdraw him from his high ranking member of society life and transform him into the evil, undignified Mr. Edward Hyde.The book has contributed to modern psychology theories. Terms in modern psychology now consist of The Jekyll and Hyde personality.In my opinion Stevenson was undoubtedly aware that these issues were ones which many ordinary people of that time were thinking about. Most of the ideas have carried on through the centuries, though some have changed for example the attitude towards the womans place in s ociety and the origin of mankind. Some social ideas will carry on through the centuries to come like, suppression leading to violence, the acts of hypocrisy that we are all guilty off, the increasing interest in chemicals and the anatomy and the undeniable fact that we all have an evil side to our nature and it accounts for only a small portion of our personality. Hence I hold a balanced view.