Dr Jekyll And Hyde Research Paper

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The Victorian era was renowned for its outstanding morals and social duties, but hidden behind the curtain of social perfection remained a city of secret restraints, depriving people of becoming who they wanted or doing what they desired. People were expected to behave within the boundaries of the highest moral standards, which hid the dark realities of Victorian London, as well as the realities of the people living within it, such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Utterson. Robert Louis Stevenson suggests that the conflict between Jekyll and Hyde is based on reputation and class, which is a direct reflection of the internal battles that many people had to face in Victorian London. Due to the importance of a good reputation and being in a “higher class”,…show more content…
To support his theory, Stevenson writes (as Dr. Jekyll) “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” (Stevenson 79). Through Hyde, Dr. Jekyll is freed from the restraints imposed by society – “my devil had been long caged, he came out roaring” (Stevenson, 86). Jekyll confesses that he definitely doesn’t want to become Hyde – he wants to become inimical Hyde, admitting to Utterson: "I cannot say that I care what becomes of Hyde; I am quite done with him. I was thinking of my own character” (Stevenson, 51). He believes that his body holds two separate personalities, one good (Jekyll), and one bad (Hyde). The only reason he developed the potion was to separate the two charismas in efforts to protect his reputation and social standing (upper-class). Due to the Victorian ‘social code’, people (like Dr. Jekyll’s) main concern was their good reputation and social standings. It was engraved into their minds that without a good reputation, there would be no way to advance on the scale of…show more content…
Jekyll as a victim and Mr. Hyde as the result of societal pressures. Jekyll is a respected professor, whereas Hyde is a ruthless, lower class man. This allows Jekyll as Hyde to get away with nasty behavior, without the chance of losing his social appearance. Hyde doesn’t care about the friends, respect, or wealth that Jekyll needs; he is a way for the doctor to relieve himself of the pressure that the Victorian society cast on him. Hyde is Jekyll’s relief system and the intended result of his experiment. To most people, Jekyll and Hyde is a tale of two sovereign personalities, one respectable and one evil, that share the same body and are at war with each other, but after multiple close readings of the story I contend that it is the story of one man, fighting an internal warfare between the importance of his reputation over his personal desires, mirroring the effects on people during Victorian times. 906

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