Dr. Jekyll Is the focal character in “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” a 1886 novella written by Robert Stevenson. The novel was later transformed into a film that garnered massive attention and criticisms from the public, as well as the media. Apparently, what many people fail to understand is that there is no Jekyll and Hyde. Hyde is just Jekyll after being transformed as a result of taking a concoction that the scientist, Dr. Jekyll, had made. This paper shall candidly and comprehensively strive to explore the thee traits of Dr. Jekyll, and try to elucidate and analyze the settings under which Dr. Jekyll develops and/portrays the traits. The three traits of Dr. Jekyll can be identified as amiable, curious, appreciative, and secretive.
Dr. Jekyll is curious.
His curiosity drives the story to the unmistakable end. As an English medic in Victorian, Dr. Jekyll uses science in a very unconventional manner. In his laboratory, he indulges in experiments with new drugs, a habit that can apparently be perceived as normal for scientists due to their curiosity and impulse to discover and/or sightsee more. He did it to see how he can transform himself into a more respected or better person. He had always suspected that human beings have two opposing sides; the evil and the good side (Robert, 09). Through making and taking the drug that he made, Dr. Jekyll found out that indeed, a human being could behave both humanly and inhumanly. He takes the drug and transforms from a conscious, kind Jekyll to a cataleptic, unkind Mr. Hyde.
Furthermore, curiosity made him take the chemical substance since he wanted to see how he could change himself and others too by gaining more power in the field of science and becoming more aware of himself. His curiosity makes him have an unhappy ending since he transformed to an unstable and unpredictable person. Jekyll’s curiosity is evidently portrayed when Utterson states, “The doctor, it appeared, now more than ever confined himself to the cabinet over the laboratoryhe had grown very silent . It seemed as if he had something on his mind (Robert, 11).” Bizarrely, Dr. Jekyll was preoccupied with activities aimed at reconnoitering the world and understanding the real nature of human beings.
Dr. Jekyll is appreciative and secretive.
Stevenson entrusts Utterson with the responsibility of ensuring that everything about his will goes well. After realizing that Stevenson was so caring about his will, Dr. Jekyll thanks Mr. Utterson so much for being there to help Stevenson (Robert, 14). The doctor is secretive because he made the concoction without informing the other people and drank it in the laboratory. He successfully managed to hide that huge secret from his friends who are just dismayed by the person that Dr. Jekyll becomes. He also managed to keep so many things in his heart without disclosing even the most relevant facts that he knew as a doctor. Although his experiments were apparently controversial, he does not reveal/uncover the mystery to the members of the society but does his own things in a confined laboratory and ostensibly in the absence of people.
Although Dr. Jekyll had good reasons for choosing Hyde as his successor, he does not reveal or explain his reasons to Utterson and Stevenson. He only said that, "I do sincerely take a great, a very great interest in that young man” (Robert, 19). This evidently shows that he secretly chose Hyde as his hair rather than following what Utterson was telling him because he was interested in Hyde. In chapter 5, Dr. Jekyll refuses to tell his close friend, Utterson, what has been going on between Hyde and him and swears to God that he will never see Hyde again yet he had secretly been seeing him.
Dr. Jekyll was amiable.
After Hyde’s disappearance from the police station, Dr. Jekyll goes back to his apartment where he throws parties and entertains people. In chapter 6, he becomes outgoing, social, and friendly. Dr. Jekyll acts friendly and sociable since he feels like a burden (Hyde) has just been withdrawn from his shoulders (Robert, 66). Apparently, the unreal character, Hyde, was hampering the good interaction and cooperation that Dr. Jekyll previously enjoyed with his friends. In chapter 9, Dr. Lanyon is said to be visiting his friend, Dr. Jekyll, in his house to collect a drawer that he had asked him to look for him. Apart from being social, Jekyll was friendly and cared about his friends. This is evident when he said that, "I felt bound to do as he requested" (Robert, 53). In chapter 2, Dr. Jekyll’s friendly nature and his ability to keep friends is evident through Utterson’s statement; “you and I must be the two oldest friends that Henry Jekyll has"(Robert, 09). He is denoted as a man who was ready to help rather than reprove. He could easily tolerate others and engaged with them at their hour of need.
The above elucidation clearly indicates that Dr. Jekyll was a good man before taking the portion that turned him to an inhumane Mr. Hyde. His curiosity makes him destroy himself and apparently impact negatively on his friends.
Robert Louis Stevenson. "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Longmans, Green & co. (1886). Print. ISBN 0-553-21277-X