Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Essay
In Robert Louis Stevenson’s, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll’s struggle between two personalities is the cause of tragedy and violence. Dr. Jekyll takes his friends loyalty and unknowingly abuses it. In this novella, Stevenson shows attributes of loyalty, how friendship contributes to loyalty, and how his own life affected his writing on loyalty.
Stevenson expresses loyalty in many ways. For example, he establishes the friendship between Mr. Utterson, Dr. Jekyll, and Dr. Lanyon. In a good friendship, there is always loyalty, or at least should be. Dr. Jekyll depends on the loyalty of his friends. He has Dr. Lanyon bring him ingredients from his lab so he can change back into himself as Dr. Jekyll. “Poole, my butler, has his orders; you will find him waiting your arrival with a locksmith. The door of my cabinet is then to be forced: and you are to go in alone; to open the glazed press (letter E) on the left hand, breaking the lock if it be shut; and to draw out, with all its contents as they stand, the fourth drawer from the top or (which is the same thing) the third from the bottom” (Stevenson 60,61). In this case, Dr. Lanyon has compete loyalty towards Dr. Jekyll because Dr. Jekyll trusts him enough to expose his deepest darkest secret to him and allows him to go in his lab where typically no one is allowed. In Mr. Utterson’s case, since he is a lawyer, Dr. Jekyll had instilled in him trust and gave him all of his important documents and his will. Mr. Utterson was very loyal because he did what he was asked of even when he was confused and unsure. Mr. Utterson showed loyalty towards not only Dr. Jekyll, but also Dr. Lanyon. Dr. Lanyon had written him a letter right before he died, addressed to MR. Utterson, but he was not supposed to open it until the death of Dr. Jekyll. “Within there was another enclosure, likewise sealed, and marked upon the cover as "not to be opened till the death or disappearance of Dr. Henry Jekyll" (Stevenson 39). Even though he was eager to open the letter, he waited until the day that was asked of him.
Through Dr. Jekyll’s experience, he depends almost wholly on the loyalty of his friends. Many people look at Dr. Jekyll and see a good and honest man, and they appreciated that. So, in other words, Dr. Jekyll had set a good reputation for himself, and he had an obligation to uphold it. However, his good reputation could easily be destroyed in a matter of seconds, if anyone found out his secret. Dr. Jekyll’s alter ego, or other personality is the complete opposite of himself. Mr. Hyde shows a side of Dr. Jekyll that many people would not think possible. Only a few people had met Mr. Hyde, and those who did noticed something was off, but could not quite place it. “He was small, as I have said; I was struck besides with the shocking expression of his face, with his...