Essay on Dual Personalities in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Stevenson

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Dual Personalities in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Stevenson

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a classic mystery story, enticing to all audiences merely upon it’s suspense alone. When Stevenson first wrote the story (after recalling a dream he had) he had only the intentions of writing such an entertaining tale. Yet at the suggestion of his wife, he decided to revamp the mystery to comment on the dual nature of man and of society in general.

I believe that Stevenson is suggesting that "All human beings…are commingled out of good and evil.", as spoken by Dr Jekyll.


Stevenson is suggesting that good and evil are inseparable in human nature. By discussing such themes as the hypocrisy of
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Throughout the novel much effort is made upon Stevenson’s behalf to portray Hyde’s menace, there is nothing comical about the trampling of the little girl on the street corner, or the slaying of Sir Danvers Carew.

Hyde clearly represents the beast in a man, and is portrayed using several animalistic images. When initially confronted by Utterson he is depicted as "hissing" like a cornered snake, he is described by Poole as screaming "like a rat", his movements are likened to that of a monkey, and his shrieks of "mere animal terror". Jekyll describes his altar ego as "the animal within me, licking the chops of memory", and discovers hair growing upon the back of his hand after his first involuntary Hyde transformation.

Without doubt, is aiming to depict Hyde as an animal. Yet it is not his appearance which causes such unrest in all the characters who meet him. Rather it his essence of pure evil which they sense, Enfield described him as "like Satan", and Utterson as "having Satan’s signature". Hyde is pure evil.

Stevenson suggests, by the immense disgusted reactions of the characters who meet him, that to see Hyde, is to see your own evil manifestation. In wanting to kill Hyde, they are rejecting what is in fact part of themselves.

This leads to Stevenson’s most poignant social commentary within the novel. That suppression
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