HUmanity's Pursuit of Meaning

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Working Thesis: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, is a poignant example of the consequences of signification and humanity’s pursuit of meaning, which in this story lead to devastating results. Signification is what offsets the balance of life and we can’t always know the degree of the consequences will be. Essay: As seen in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Victorian society sought to do something impossible, insisting that people can only be defined in terms of one, conscious or unconscious. But because the world is a continuum of balance and humans live in the world, there cant ever be one of anything. There has to be an opposite that comes along with it. So, if there is conscious then there is an unconscious. Those who…show more content…
Hyde. When he let his unconscious into his conscious it became as real and alive as he was. As he titrated more and more of his primitive desires, Hyde as an individual grew stronger. Jekyll no longer recognized the manifestation of his unconscious as something he could control. He didn’t just bring forth the bit of “Hyde” he was conscious of but all of it, not understanding the depth of his “shadow.” In life, if something is standing in the sun and has no tangible shadow, it simply isn’t. Nothing exists without a shadow, a second half because then there’s no context from which to derive meaning. There was a perpetuating belief in Victorian society that humans consist of only one and not two. Mr. Utterson and Edenfield are the epitome of Victorian men because they have not yet acknowledged their other part or unconscious. Utterson and Edenfield are epitomes of Victorian men. At the beginning, Edenfield struggles to match the signifier with the signified. He sees Mr. Hyde and then tries to explain what he looks like to Mr. Utterson but fails; “he is not easy to describe…I never saw a man I so dislike, and yet scare no why. He must be deformed somewhere; he gives a strong feeling of deformity, although I couldn’t specify the point” (Stevenson 9). The inability to concretely “describe” is continually defined either in terms of an unfathomable 'opposition' or as the ‘undescribable' the 'unsymbolisable' or 'the
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