Jekyll and Hyde Duality essay

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“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)....

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