Irony in Jekyll and Hyde

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Verbal irony presents itself well in Stevenson's story (Stevenson 1-78). "I am quite sure of him," replied Jekyll, "I have grounds for certainty that I cannot share with anyone." (Stevenson 30). Jekyll is speaking about his good friend Mr. Hyde, whom no one knows is his divided "other" personality (Stevenson 30). Literally, Jekyll knows Hyde very well, but cannot disclose certain personal information about Hyde's life that he does not wish to share; yet the reader finds out later, that Jekyll is merely looking for a loophole in order to diverge from talking about his evil alter ego (Stevenson 30). Stevenson puts subtle details into the things his characters say and do, and one who is smart will catch the verbal ironies that sprout from…show more content…
Seeing how Jekyll is a respectable member of society, he cannot fulfill his evil desires and he feels crushed by society’s judgmental ways and begins to ponder what life would be like if he were allowed to be different. He gives into his fascination and starts to experiment using the power of science and in turn concocts a potion which allows him to transform into Hyde, his evil “twin”. At first, he was satisfied, living this other side of himself, but then it turned into something horrific, causing him to trample a young girl and killing a completely innocent man. Jekyll states in his letter to Utterman “…I was still cursed with my duality of purpose…” (page 72). Stevenson concludes that man is not in fact a purely dual being, but a primitive being, tamed and civilized by the laws of society. Stevenson portrays Hyde in highly animalistic terms – short and hairy with gnarled hands and a horrific face. In contrast, Jekyll is described in the most gentlemanly terms - tall, refined, polite and honorable, with long elegant fingers and a handsome appearance. Thus, perhaps Jekyll's experiment reduces his being to its most basic form, in which evil runs freely without considering the constraints of society and civilization. Jekyll
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