“It is one thing to mortify curiosity, another to conquer it ” (69). This is a quote from the book Dr.
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson. In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde the topic of duality in
human nature is thoroughly expressed in a few different ways. The story is about a man named Dr. Jekyll
who concocted a potion that would divide his good side, Dr. Jekyll, and his evil side, Mr. Hyde, in order
to escape the restrictions and limitations of Victorian society. However, this plan backfired when Hyde
became too strong for Dr. Jekyll to control. Dr. Jekyll desperately attempted to replicate the potion he
had previously used to transform into Mr. Hyde to keep himself from turning, but there was a crucial
impurity, that of which he could not replicate.
In Victorian society there is a rift between the extravagant upperclass, doctors, lawyers, and rich
people, and the impecunious lower class, the poor people. Dr. Jekyll wanted people to see him as an
elegant and sophisticated person who was respectable and followed Victorian guidelines, but he also
wanted to let his frustration out and do things people of his stature normally would not do, so he made a
potion. This potion split his personalty into Mr. Hyde and he could use his evil side to do the
malevolent things he wanted to do.
The quote, “Man is not truly one, but truly two” (143) is another quote from Dr. Jekyll that
demonstrates the theme of duality in human nature. Dr. Jekyll is respected, well mannered, and has a
benevolent way, he seeks to help his friends and help other people as well. In contrast, Mr. Hyde is evil
and angry. Dr. Jekyll is not the only character with duality, another used is Mr. Utterson.
Robert Louis Stevenson uses Mr. Utterson through his protectiveness and loyalty towards his dear
companion Dr. Jekyll. Mr. Utterson throughout the novel tries to ardently persuade Dr. Jekyll to
eliminate all of his connections with Mr. Hyde. Utterson goes to see Jekyll and tries to persuade him, to
which Jekyll replies, “this is very good of you, this is downright good of you, and I cannot find words to
thank you in. I believe you fully; I would trust you before any man alive, ay, before myself; if I could
make the choice”(37)....