The title of the novel ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson’ indicates a direct peculiarity between the characters and therefore provide a sensual instigate on the strangeness of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde characterization. Stevenson explores the various characterizations of his two major characters; Dr Jekyl and Mr. Hyde in his literary work. He centers his discretion on the outset of humanity on a two-fold contrivance basing it on Dr Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. The duality in the nature of human beings is an intriguing factor in the build up of the writers theme, but the implication that an individual possess two distinct personalities in Stevenson’s novel pose a great mystery on his artistic influence. The novel depicts the battle between two protagonists entangled in one body and thus symbolizing war between the evil and the good in an individual personality.
The allegory genre and also that of tragedy are used to depict evil nature of Hyde. Hyde is seen trampling an innocent young girl without any apparent reason and by so doing Enfield describes him as one who is hellish. In essence, every individual uses the front door to enter into the main house except Jekyll; the front door directly links to the dining room. However, Jekyll uses the back door which is dingy and dark and links directly to the Jekyll’s cabinet and laboratory which in essence enables him to unleash his evil deeds in privacy and in the Hyde’s form.
Utterson becomes apprehensive on Jekyll despite being old friends as he cannot figure out the strange undertakings that he has been initiating the will he makes. For instance, he says ‘…..in the case of the decease of Henry Jekyll…all his possessions were to pass into the hands of his friend and benefactor Edward Hyde”. Utterson is well acquitted to the fact that Hyde is a deformed murderer after he witnessed the death of the young lady as he was having a walk with Enfield. Thus it is obscurity on his side, as to how an educated, prominent and sophisticated man in the entire society can easily change his will in the unusual way. Utterson dislikes Hyde and loves Jekyll this is because of the evil personality of Hyde. Jekyll keeps distance as he is aware of the ill-misfortune associated with being close to Hyde.
Hypocrisy is well stipulated on the character of Hyde. For instance, in one occasion it is stated that “…..he answered never a word, and seemed to listen with an ill-contained impatience”. Not a single character in the novel, even Jekyll, can understand the volatility and the disgusting nature of Hyde as he sometimes comes out as extremely intolerant and violent.
Stevenson portrays Hyde as part of the dark side that is present in all individuals in the society. As the individuals are in dire need of killing Hyde they do not know that they are trying to reject what is in them and therefore posing the hypocritical nature in the society.
On the other hand, Dr. Jekyll is depicted as one with self respect but indeed struggles with the fight of the inner good and evil he possess. He is less violent throughout the play and possesses self control but towards the end Dr. Jekyll loses control and voluntarily turns to Mr. Hyde. “The id, the most primitive structure in the mind, is in the unconscious.” Here Mr. Hyde is perceived to be more of id as he allows his emotions to determine his actions and therefore having an adverse effect on the innocent people. Dr. Jekyll acknowledges his lose of control and knows he sometimes deter from his actual character; ‘…I shall have disappeared. What circumstances I have not the penetration to foresee.”
Eberle Thomas, Barbara Redmond,Stevenson Robert Louis. The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: a new version for the stage. New York: Baker’s Plays, 2000.
Robert, Stevenson Louis. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. New York: Cricket House Books LLC, 2010.