The strange case of Dr Jekyll and mr Hyde
The Theme of Dualism in the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 19th-century novel written by Louis Robert Stevenson in 1886. In this novel, Stevenson presents the story of John Gabriel Utterson, a London-based lawyer who takes his time to keenly investigate and follow-up the weird activities that are going on between Dr. Henry Jekyll, his old-time friend, and the evil called Mr. Edward Hyde. The author uses these characters to develop the plot of the novel and deliver his message to the audience. This paper presents an in-depth and critical analysis of the theme of duality in the novel. It does this by focusing on the uniqueness and double nature of behaviors and physical appearance of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
The theme of duality prominently features in the play because Stevenson uses it o explain how it has become a nature of human life. Having been written during the Victorian times, the author intended to explain to the society how duality has become a significant nature of human beings. Although it does not appear at the initial stages of the novel, the theme can be fully comprehended towards the end of the story particularly after understanding the uniqueness in the behaviors of Dr. Jekyll and his friend Mr. Hyde. This follows the kind of relationship fostered by the two as well as the conflicting conducts they demonstrate throughout the novel.
The theme of duality is developed by the existence of double personalities between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Although the audience is not aware that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one person, the truth, as it is eventually uncovered, proves the duality in these characters. It is Dr. Jekyll who is disguised as Mr. Hyde. During each of these times, the character portrays different behaviors. At the initial stages, when acting as of Dr. Jekyll, the character appears to be moral. He is a good man who does right things that are admired by everyone. All the good things he does in his medical profession appeal to many people who love him for that. However, all these change when he transforms into Mr. Hyde who appears to be an evil man. Unlike Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde is a violent man who engages in lots of atrocities. He uses his strength to inflict a lot of pain on the innocent people. He is a brutal character who indiscriminately attacks and murders people without any apparent reason. This is what he did to the young girl whom he trampled because she stood on his way. Later, he did the same to a harmless old man who had no grudge against him. The conflicting personalities in these characters demonstrate that there are some elements of duality in them. Otherwise, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, who is one person, should not have had been moral and evil at the same time.
Duality also features in the novel because of the existence of two physical appearances in the protagonist. As one single character, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were supposed to have a similar physical appearance. However, this is not the case because they appear to be totally different people. On his part, Dr. Jekyll is a huge and large man. The author describes him as, “Large, well-made, smooth-faced man of fifty with something of a slyish cast ape-like’ (Ch. 2). This shows that he is a giant-like, but handsome human being who appears to scary and frightening. Meanwhile, Mr. Hyde tends to possess contrasting physical features. After transforming into Mr. Hyde, he becomes a much younger and small and remorseful character. He appears to be ugly and hairy, just like an animal. May be, this is why he behaves like an animal. Unlike before, he is now more evil and a very unfriendly character. People do not want to socialize with him as they used to do earlier. The change in physique in the characters is a clear indication that there is duality in the novel. Ordinarily, the character would not have changed in this manner.
Summarily, the theme of dualism prominently features in the novel the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. As a leading character in the novel, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. have a set of conflicting behaviors and physique. Although he is one character, the author gives him powers to lead a double life. At one time, he is a morally-upright personality who does not engage in any evil act. He is a friendly and professional character who does not intend to cause harm to anyone. However, as the story unfolds, he becomes a very violent person who does only engages in evil and immoral acts like murder and assault. This justifies the assertion that human being is not one, but two personalities who is engaged in a battle between the evil and the good.