Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - The Battle Between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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The Battle Between Jekyll and Hyde

Throughout Western literature, writers have created characters who act as perfect foils to each other with dramatically observable differences. Each pairing has a stronger and weaker in the combination, and usually one outlives the other. In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the pairing exists in one body, and yet the struggle is heightened because both aspects of the identity are equal in strength. Ultimately, Stevenson emphasizes it is Jekyll who holds the power of life or death over Hyde. Hyde's "love of life is wonderful," but Hyde is also aware of Jekyll's "power to cut him off by suicide (Stevenson 101)." It is the awareness of each for the other which confirms that neither
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It is "memory alone...tis to be considered...as the source of personal identity (Bowie 351)." Jekyll records that "[his] two natures had memory in common (Stevenson 90)." The disgust Utterson feels may actually stem from the ability he has, when looking at Hyde's face, to see the countenance of his friend Jekyll, and subconsciously make the connection between the two even before he witnesses the material transformation.

In "Sisyphus," Camus declares "a man defines himself by his make believe as well as by his sincere impulses (Bowie 46)." Hyde gives an "impression of deformity without any namable malformation (Stevenson 18)." Weariness, according to Camus, "awakens consciousness and provokes what follows (Bowie 46)." Once Hyde has been released, Jekyll discovers that he cannot control when he emerges. Eventually, Jekyll repeatedly sleeps and awakens as Hyde. Here, Jekyll's consciousness of himself becomes obsolete as soon as he realizes he is Hyde. He is not conscious of the transformation taking place, only that it has, and as Hyde, consciousness is replaced by pure sensation. It is the act of losing himself in the sensuality of being Hyde that Jekyll disappears, and it is this disappearance that Jekyll fears will trigger the end of "communication" between his two Selves. It is only when Hyde writes to Doctor Lanyon
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