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Studying The Changes Of Dr Jekyll English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1586 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Dr. Jekyll has a split personality when he takes his potion during the story. At this point in time he becomes a person whom wants to come out and be an active part of society. There is a constant battle between good and evil in the character in the story. It has also become very clear that it is sometimes very unclear in trying to identify good and evil. In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Luis Stevenson, there is a constant battle of good and evil inside of Dr. Jekyll. The constant battle between good and evil can sometimes be a difficult struggle that cannot easily be overcome.

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Dr. Jekyll throughout the book experiences a lot of inner conflicts. “The thoughts of his mind, besides, were of the gloomiest … dye; and when he glanced at the companion of his drive, he was conscious of some touch of that terror of the law and the law’s officers, which may at times assail the most honest” (Stevenson 26) This quote first describes a man whom has a lot of inner conflict and needs to have a way to try and solve the conflict. Due to all of the distorted thoughts his actions are sometime indescribable.

His mixed personalities caused disgruntled thoughts sometimes as well as actions. “The sensation of a man’s dual nature is not just a metaphysical and a psychological configuration” (Wolfson 150) In this quote the author is describing the character (Dr. Jekyll) mental state and how it is misconfigured due to his split personalities and his unnatural actions. But with his inner mental state always changing it severely affects his physical appearance as well as his physical attitude. All of these mixed emotions show to us that there is a very strong amount of evil that exist within Dr. Jekyll

The physical changes that occur during his phases as Dr. Jekyll affect his attitude towards other severely. Dr. Jekyll is a completely different person so much to the point where he cannot be seen in public. The doctor also has many different looks when he is himself without potion and it affects him greatly. All of these defects affect his attitude towards himself. “Jekyll werewolf tales in general, examines the problem of identity through the transformation of physical and psychological states of being” (Jancovich 144) This article which it comes from describes how in order to do or perform work he must change from one person into another. He must do this in order to attempt to do or meet anyone or at least not harm himself mentally or physically.

Mr. Hyde has a different outlook on the same things that Dr. Jekyll cannot or will not do. But Mr. Hyde is much more different in many different ways. Mr. Hyde has the ability to be seen in public as well as have a well thought out set of thoughts where his split personality cannot focus or stay on one topic at a time. But like his other personality he does have some flaws that occur and he wants to keep hidden. “So Mr. Hyde’s actions, hidden from public scrutiny, suggests repressed and alienated energies” (Wolfson 153)

Mr. Hyde has a lot of change when he transforms from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde a lot of the things that seem unclear to Dr. Jekyll suddenly seem very clear to Mr. Hyde. As where Dr. Jekyll is seen as a monster Mr. Hyde is not seen as though he is one he is seen as a normal person where he can go into a crowd in the public and not have to worry about what will happen if someone says something to him that he will not go crazy or insane where he can now stand his own. “The novel does not suggest that Hyde must be kept repressed because he is monstrous, but he is monstrous because he is kept repressed” (Jancovich 145) This quote describes how he now normal or what can be seen in those days when you acted like he had and blend in.

Mr. Hyde goes through a set of physical changes that set him different from the rest of him as Dr. Jekyll. His physical attitude with himself changes and his attitude with others mold his character into something completely different. As well as his physical appearance it changes with him so you cannot see the evil within him. But instead with all of the changes that occur all you can really see is the good that exists within him and how the good is the “real” him. “In turn, Jekyll’s narrative provides the explanation behind the revelation, working in much the same way as a mystery story” (Kerr 3) In this quote it is shown that not all of the things that Mr. Hyde did was easily describable as good but could not be interpreted as evil. That there is a difficult line of good and evil that sometimes needs to be distinguished.

Dr. Jekyll takes the potion to turn into his alter personality which to him is a much better person where he feel like he can be free and not have to worry about hiding himself cause he is either embarrassed or ashamed that he will do something that he can’t control. The potion helps him control his emotions towards himself as well as his emotions towards others.

I resolved in my future conduct to redeem the past; … and I can say with honesty that my resolve was fruitful of some good. You know yourself how earnestly, in the last months of the last year, I labored to relieve suffering; you know that much was done for others, and that the days passed quietly, almost happily for myself. (Stevenson 73)

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Mr. Hyde wants to stop taking the potion because now he feels that he is at the point where he thinks that he does not need the potion to make him to the good side. He now feels that he can control all of those inner hard to control feelings so that he can try to keep his emotions and actions on what we think to be the good side. “Both sides of me were in dead earnest; I was no more myself when I laid aside restraint and plunged in shame, than when I labored, in the eye of day, at the furtherance of knowledge or the relief of sorrow and suffering” (Stevenson 61) He takes the potion in all well knowing that when it changes him it also changes his behavior. He is almost transformed into a new person.

Mr. Hyde also takes this potion knowing that it is going to change him physically to the point now where he believes that he can be seen as a different person. Just another reason for him to continue to take the potion for him to believe in himself and that he once again is now staying on the good side due to his excellent behavior. “Henry Jekyll statement of the Case’ tells how Dr. Jekyll had a dark and base passion that he could not indulge as a reputable member of society. As a result, he found chemical way to transform those physical passions into Mr. Hyde” (Kerr 3) In this quote it is shown that in order for Dr. Jekyll to find some type of relief he must turn into someone different.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde both come from the same person. Each person represents a different type of struggle. Dr. Jekyll represents evil as the things that he does show a different side of him than from what Mr. Hyde shows. Mr. Hyde is supposed to represent good and what happens when you try to change certain people how good things can come from it. “An ivory-faced and silvery-haired old women opened the door. She had an evil face, smooth by hypocrisy: but her manners were excellent” (Stevenson 27) Dr. Jekyll cannot seem to understand why he cannot the nasty emotions out of his head and how he cannot reason with them. As if there is no other way to remove the nasty emotions out of his head.

It was on the moral side, and in my own person, that I learned to recognize the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both; and from an early date, even before the course of my scientific discoveries had begun to suggest the most naked possibility of such a miracle, I had learned to dwell with pleasure, as a beloved daydream, on the thought of the separation of these elements (Stevenson 65)

This is when Dr. Jekyll describes how even if the two personalities exist in one person they should be separated. Due to when they are together they can be a very bad combination.

We understand that it is possible for good to exist in something that once held an enormous amount of evil because now it has happened that good can equal evil making it very difficult to distinguish. “I do not suppose that, when a drunkard reasons with … himself upon his vice, he is once out of five hundred times affected by the dangers that he runs through his brutish, physical insensibility; neither had I, long as I had considered my position, made enough allowance for the complete moral insensibility and insensate readiness to evil” (Stevenson 70) What makes Mr. Hyde’s ability to be on essentially the “good” side is the fact that Dr. Jekyll dose not realize the depth of Mr. Hyde’s personality. In this we see how sometimes evil does not overrun good but yet it make everything associated with it confused because we are so used to seeing in society evil overrun everything and win. But now we can see that this is not always true and that good inside something can and will come out on top.


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