The Duality of Man in Literary Works and Critical Essays

1580 WordsFeb 6, 20137 Pages
Unseen Ties: Codependency and Fallout in the Dual Brain interpreted from Literary Works and Critical Essays The lifelong struggle for control and recognition of the human mind has been a popular and evolving science since the late-nineteenth-century. Many notable authors, scientists, and laymen have been fascinated with the study since then. Robert Louis Stevenson is one of the more notable authors to write about dual personalities with his short story, “Markheim,” and the novella, ”The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” The latter of these two stories has inspired the study of multiple personalities more than any other work of fiction, and perhaps any work of nonfiction. According to Anne Stiles, “[Stevenson’s wife] traces her…show more content…
In “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” the title provides irony in respect to murder being an aggressive act, and hiding being something less. Stevenson’s use of Utterson, who is a dry, skeptical, and narrow-minded character to narrate the story suffers irony itself, considering the story is quite fantastic and irrational. Also, with Dr. Lanyon being the closest person historically to Henry Jekyll, Lanyon is in the dark the longest, being the last to meet Ed Hyde. Ironically, being the last to meet Mr. Hyde, he becomes the first to learn Jekyll’s dark secret, as Hyde comes out of the closet. The title that the author gives to the doctor, “Henry Jekyll, M.D, D.C.L, LL.D, F.R.S,” gives the reader the impression that this is a very well-educated, stable, busy, and important person (Stevenson 470). Clearly, a man with those responsibilities would have a full life, and no need to create an evil twin. This proves to be untrue, and the basis for the story. This exemplifies the old adage; you can never have too much, especially if what you have isn’t making you happy. Henry Jekyll’s desire to live unchecked is responsible for the creation of Hyde. This in turn leads to the decision to commit suicide as the only way to prevent Hyde from continuing his destructive ways. This demonstrates the ironic nature of the ego and the id. Depending on the perspective, control of the Jekyll/Hyde beast becomes subjective.
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