Jekyll and Hyde Essay Introduction and Para 1

I am going to write an essay on Robert Louis Stevenson’s supernatural story, the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, which was the inspiration for lots of modern movies showing dual nature of mankind e. g. The Hulk, Two Face and The Nutty Professor to name a few. The story is told mostly in third person by Mr Utterson the lawyer, it is about the scientist Dr Jekyll and his “friend”, the hated Mr Hyde. Utterson suspects that Hyde may be bribing Jekyll when Jekyll changes his will to one where in the event of his death all his money and his house will be given to Hyde.

However when Hyde disappears after brutally murdering the highly respected Sir Danvers Carew, Utterson is pleased, but when Jekyll starts acting weird and will not leave the confines of his cabinet Utterson becomes worried and after Jekyll becomes a recluse and starts making strange demands in a voice that is not his own, Jekyll’s butler and Utterson break down the doctor’s door to find Hyde lying dead on the floor from apparent suicide. The story is later explained in the novella through the testimony of Dr Lanyon, in which he reveals that he witnessed a transformation of Hyde to Jekyll and then explained in more detail by Jekyll.

It turns out that Hyde was the result of one of Dr Jekyll’s experiments, where by drinking the ‘transforming draught’ he becomes the hated character who was the complete opposite of his usual self. Over time Jekyll found himself transforming without even drinking the potion, and when the drug ran out he became trapped as Hyde. Upon drinking the very last of the drug Jekyll writes, ‘I bring the life of that unhappy Henry Jekyll to an end’. I thought this book was very interesting and would recommend it to all. This novel is all about the dual nature of mankind.

Stevenson believed that every person had a good and bad side to them. The book says a lot about Victorian society as they were all meant to be very good people but really lots of them were corrupt inside. The characters inside this novel show his theory about this very well. For example Jekyll is a well respected man, who was ‘born to a large fortune’ and ‘fond of respect of the wise and good among my fellow men… with every guarantee of an honourable and distinguished future’. Like most people in Victorian society Dr Jekyll was obsessed with respect and he also had an evil side to him.

He hated doing “evil” things such as gambling and drinking so much that he decided to make a potion to split his personality in two. When he first became Hyde, the evil side of his personality he felt ‘younger, lighter and happier in body’ which is because his evil side would not be as developed as his good side as he has done more good than evil in his life. He enjoyed being Hyde because he could do evil things without consequence or people finding out, or so he thought. He felt he did not need to feel guilty about the things he had done as they technically weren’t him.

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