Duality in the Victorian Era

582 Words Jan 30th, 2018 2 Pages
Cultural works began to move away from rationalism, and became more romanticized and more influenced by mysticism. Privacy became a hallmark of British life as well; the outer walls of citizens’ homes were transformed into a façade by which innumerable mysteries resided behind. This romanticized idea of mystery that seemed to lurk behind the doors of the common, everyday man became a prevalent theme in the works of many writers and artists throughout the time period. Robert Louis Stevenson uses this theme of not knowing the true nature of an individual, as well as the idea of duality, to develop his theme that an evil side lies within every man and that balancing both sides is vital to preservation of ones sanity. The dual character combination of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of the most well-known in literature and is arguably the most blatant example of duality Stevenson uses to try and get the theme of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde across. The dual personalities Dr. Jekyll possesses are stark examples of the animalistic and civilized sides of man that inherently resides in all men. The virtuous Dr. Jekyll serves as a portrayal of the more rational, human side of man. When Mr. Utterson attends Dr. Jekyll’s dinner party he paints a picture of a quintessential Victorian man when describing Jekyll’s appearance, “well…

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