The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

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The gothic novella, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1886, is a glimpse back in time to the Victorian era. The novella highlights the Victorian morality and the Victorian model of life. The key features of Victorian morality include a set of moral values pillared in sexual restraints, low tolerance policies on crimes and a strict social code of conduct. Dr. Jekyll is a respected member living in the Victorian society, who abides to all the rules and regulations. Mr. Hyde is his own repressed and animalistic personality, awakened through his wild science experiment, to dissociate the good and evil personalities with the help of a potion. The themes incorporated in the novella are: the existence of dualism in human nature (good vs. evil), repression, physiognomy, reputation, friendship, murder, curiosity about science, religion, violence on the innocent or weak, and death. Though the story is a science fiction, it is fascinating that the same person can have entirely opposing personalities. The protagonist, Dr. Henry Jekyll represents the good side of the human personality and the antagonist, Mr. Edward Hyde represents the evil side of the human personality — display the phenomenon of dualism in human nature. Thus, the story concentrates mainly on the issue, whether human nature is inherently good or evil and Stevenson portrays how the dichotomy of good and evil coexists within the
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