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The duality: good and evil

literature

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            Universitatea “ Petru Maior”

Facultatea de Stiinte si Litere  

Limba si lieratura romana-

Limba si literatura engleza



   Anul II, Grupa a-II-a

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

                                          

                                   by Robert Louis Stevenson

The duality: good and evil

The duality: good and evil

1. “ It was thus rather the exacting nature of my aspirations, than any particular degradation in my faults, that made me what I was and, with even a deeper trench than in the majority of men, served in me those provinces of good and ill which devide and compound man’s dual nature.”

                                                            (Chapter: Henry Jekyll’s full statement of the case, pg.85)

2. “Jekyll had more than a father’s interest; Hyde had more than a son’s indifference.”

                                                                 (Chapter: Henry Jekyll’s full statement of the case, pg.79)

            3. “ When I came to myself at Lanyon’s, the horror of my old friend perhaps affected me somewhat: I do not know. [] It was no longer the fear of the gallows, it was the horror of being Hyde the racked me. [] I still hated and feared the thoughts of the brute that slept within me, and I had not of course frogotten the appaling dangers of the day before.”

                                                                       (Chapter: Henry Jekyll’s full statement of the case, pg.69)

                                                                   

“Twentieth-century readings of detective fiction revealed the genre's complexity, alerting critics that these texts contained more than brilliant intellectual gymnastics. In fact, the shady world of crime came to symbolize a particular shadow in the Victorian psyche: the dark, and often repressed, reality of England's imperialist policies. In works such as Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) commentators saw symptoms of a malaise more profound than the Victorian crisis of conscience: the disintegration of the personality.”

http://www.enotes.com/nineteenth-century-criticism/detective-fiction

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is nothing more than an analyse of the Victorian society and it underlines the fact that each person need to be free. There is reflected the necesity of being recognized in the society, the respectability and the passion of each human being. But in that period, any gentleman could became his own shadow if he would do what he wanted.




By his novel, Stevenson wants to tell us that each person has a good and a bad, evil side. We may be rich and/or poor. And when I say rich, I don’t mean necessary at the material part, rich could be the positive part of a man, he/she may be good, and being poor could refer to the fact that they are bad, or Victorian people could be rich and poor, in other words, as Stevenson suggests us, their personality (as ours too in our days) is good and evil.

The first paragraph  could be iterpreted in the following way:

Jekyll was a famous doctor who was absolutely convinced that each person has a good side and a bad side. In order to prove his belief, he created a potion according to which he separated good from evil. At the beginning everything was ok but in short time the negative half of him started to be stronger and stronger. The final result of his descover was desastrous and this is a sort of punish on Jekyll because he wanted to become “God “( to know everything) and real God does not admit things like this, He punished Jekyll as He had done with Lucifer too, the Biblical personage.

Dr. Jekyll could also be compared with Goethe’s Faust who also was a doctor tempted to know everything and only then he could be happy entierly and for this he made an agreement with Mefisto. In Jekyll’s case is the same because the hero is conscient that he risks his life with that experiment and he gives birth to the evil part of him. The two books end differently but the idea is the same: a human being is made by good and evil (society is made by “poor” and “rich” people.)

The second paragraph:

Jekyll was like a father for Hyde because when he made a bad thing, when he comitted a crime, he allways had been hidding in Jekyll’s body and he was safe there; Hyde was like a bad son because he never listened Jekyll, he’s good advices and made things that upset his “father”. Even the way they are, their structure proves this thing because Jekyll is taller, elder, he is responsible for his facts, while the “son” is smaller, disobedient and he doesn’t assume his facts.

The third paragraph:

 When he gets to Mr. Lanyon, our hero is not any more surprised of the way his friend acts when he sees Mr. Hyde becoming Dr Jekyll. Of course that he realises what happens but now, Jekyll is more concerned about Hyde, about how could he manage to get free of him. The results of this transformation in front of Lanyon will provoke the doctors death; Jekyll is conscience about everything but first of all he wants to make sure he will get free of Hyde and in his last minutes of clearness he write a letter to Mr. Utterson and explain him everything,so the letter is the key of the lawyer researches. Even the fear of the gallows wasn’t as strong as the fear of the devil from inside him, Hyde was his basical concern.

What we can learn about this book is to try to over come with our desires and not to permit to the evil from us to replace the goodness.

                                             

                                      Bibliograp

            1. Stevenson, Robert Louis- The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Penguin Books, Great Britain, 1944;

             2. http://www.enotes.com/nineteenth-century-criticism/detective-fiction.








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