A Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

1043 Words5 Pages
Duality presents itself as a common theme in late-Victorian literature and serves to allow readers to analyze late-Victorian literature and culture. Duality is loosely defined as an instance of opposition or contrast between two aspects of one thing. A struggle perhaps, between opposing forces. Stevenson’s novel “A strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” is centered around portrayal of deep duality in man and man’s struggle to contain his inner primal instincts. Stevenson uses many methods throughout his novel to depict this concept. Throughout the novel, Jekyll is driven by his motive to discover his darker side. Because this story takes place in the Victorian era where there are only two types of people: good and bad, Jekyll struggles…show more content…
Not only are they halves of the same person, but they’re described as being polar opposites, one good and one evil. What does it mean, then, that once Hyde manifests, he slowly seems to take over and destroy Jekyll? Could Jekyll’s theory of good and evil be too neat? Hyde 's takeover of Jekyll doesn’t provide a clear-cut explanation. Could the human condition be a repression of dark urges, and once the repression of those dark urges breaks it becomes impossible to put back into place, allowing the dark nature of man to emerge? Would this suggest that man is not in fact double but rather one? This can be related to Freudian psychodynamic concepts. More specifically “Structural Theory” related to the id, ego, and superego of the psyche. “The characters in the novel manifest characteristics of the structural theory of the mind. Mr. Hyde would seem easily recognizable as the id, seeking instant gratification, having an aggressive instinct, and having no moral or social mores that need be followed. He takes pleasure in violence and similar to the death instinct ultimately leads to his own destruction. Dr. Jekyll is then the ego; he is conscious and rational, and is dominated by social principles” (Singh and Chakrabarti 223). Similarly, Carl Jung’s theory of the psyche can also be related to Jekyll and Hyde. Per Jung, the human psyche can be divided into archetypes, one of which being the self and the other the shadow. “The Self was the sum total of the
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