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Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde: Who’s Really The Monster?

2065 words - 8 pages

In short, both Frankenstein and Jekyll inevitably draw some comparisons because they were people who were willing to disregard any sort of moral compass that they had in order to satisfy their own personal desires. As we saw with Frankenstein, he was so concerned with his own gain for intellectual wealth that he was defiling the graves of people who have passed and when his abomination came to fruition, he carelessly allowed it to hurt the people around him until no one close to Victor was left, which was when Frankenstein decided to hunt his creature to the ends of the earth, having nothing to live really live for. For Jekyll, he continuously used his transcendental medicine to the point where it got out of hand and Hyde senselessly killed Sir Danvers Carew in broad daylight, which is when he actually decides to stop using his formula.
However, for Hyde, he becomes a representation of this mysterious figure for the other characters in the story, similar to Sigmund Freud’s concept of the uncanny. According to Freud, the uncanny is simply “that class of terrifying which leads back to something long known to us, once very familiar” (Freud 1-2). In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Edward Hyde fits this concept of the uncanny. This is because in the eyes of characters such as Mr. Utterson and Mr. Enfield, Mr. Hyde represents this with the obvious qualities that are reprehensible and consistent with that of a monster (his disproportionate figure, his way of treating others). However, when looking at him, there is a sort of indefinable quality about him that simply irks both Utterson and Enfield. It could be due to the fact that Hyde somewhat reminds them of their friend Jekyll at a subconscious level, who they have not seen in quite some time. Through this concept of the uncanny, we can see how this potentially subconscious familiarity strikes fear in the hearts of both Utterson and Enfield.
Not only that, but Otto Rank’s whole concept of the double (which is mentioned by Freud in The Uncanny) remains relevant in making the argument of how both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are monstrous figures in Stevenson’s story. Doubling is the ability for one’s ego to take on various forms (mirrors, shadows, guardian spirits, etc.) and usually primitive and narcissistic in nature, giving a person this sense of immortality (Freud 9-10). However, when that narcissism is taken away, one loses that concept of immortality and the possibility for death becomes very real for the person who loses it.
In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, we see a reflection of this narcissism, this attitude of “I can do whatever I want” when Edward Hyde is attacking the little girl in Chapter 1, or killing Sir Danvers Carew during broad daylight in Chapter in Chapter 4. This is scary in the sense that not only is Hyde a vicious and murderous fiend, but he is also someone who has this sense of invincibility, this feeling that nothing can really be done to stop him. Dr....

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