“Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” and “Lord of the Flies” both deal with mans struggle to control his inner evil Essay
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How do the authors’s show this struggle?
In “the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,” Robert Louis Stevenson presents mans struggle to control his inner evil through Jekyll but the evil comes out in Hyde. Dr Jekyll is a fine upstanding member of the community and Mr Hyde is still Jekyll but he has no conscience and no sense of responsibility and so goes on wild evil rampages, I am going to explore how Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde show their evils.
Dr Jekyll is a moral and religious man and has a conscience but he is attracted to the violence and freedom of Hyde and for him turning into Hyde is like a drug, he is addicted. Dr Jekyll is in a constant struggle with Hyde for control “if I am the chief of sinners I am the chief of sufferers also,” which shows the constant torment he is in yet he still drinks the drug. “Before the smile was struck out of his face and succeeded by an expression of abject terror and despair, as froze the blood of the two gentleman below,” this shows that Jekyll is scared of turning into Hyde and it also gives a picture of the ferocity of Hyde.
Jekyll becomes weak from Hyde and eventually Hyde takes over completely “Dr Jekyll, looking deadly sick. He did not rise to meet his visitor, but held out a cold hand and bade him welcome in a changed voice,” this shows that Hyde is slowly trying to kill Jekyll. Jekyll decided to kill Hyde “Utterson, I swear to god Utterson I am done with him in this world,””I cannot say that I care what becomes of Hyde I am quite done with him,” Utterson says to Jekyll “he meant to murder you,” which shows that Jekyll is good to have got rid of Hyde but Jekyll still takes the potion and Hyde continues his torments and Eventually kills Jekyll. “God knows I am careless this is my true hour of death and what is to follow concerns another than myself,” that was Jekyll’s final transformation before his death.
Edward Hyde is the beast that takes Henry Jekyll over he is a small deformed man “the man seems hardly human troglodytic shall we say,” “I read Satan’s signature upon a face,” “like a monkey,” these all describe Hyde it is like Hyde is a step back in evolution. Hyde is also very fast “it went so quick,” “with extraordinary quickness,” these both show the speed oh Hyde so we now that he is animal like and very quick, he is also very savage as he has no conscience “for the man trampled calmly over the child’s body and left her screaming on the ground,” “really like Satan,” these both show his ferocity, there are also a lot of satanic references to Hyde which suggests that he is the work of the devil. Other people perceive Hyde as being a “juggernaut,” “without the bowels of mercy,” “a spirit of enduring hatred,” which shows that he disgusts them.
Hyde hates Jekyll because he thinks he is weak and pathetic but he still fears Jekyll because he knows that Jekyll has the power to cut him off by suicide “how he fears my power to cut him off by suicide,” “blasphemies on the pages of my books, burning letters and destroying the portrait of my father,” by doing these things Hyde is trying to demoralise Jekyll because it seems that the weaker Jekyll gets the stronger Hyde gets. As Jekyll gets ill Hyde feeds off his weakness making himself stronger ” the powers of Hyde have grown stronger with the sickliness of Jekyll,” this shows that Hyde is very powerful and can force Jekyll to do anything.
I think at first Jekyll finds Hyde exciting and adventurous and he loves the feeling of having no conscience. Jekyll and Hyde are like “polar twins,” being the same yet very opposite. Jekyll also has biblical references because the thrill of Hyde tempts him like the tree in the bible tempts Adam and Eve. This story shows that man has always been evil it is just hidden behind a mask and Hyde pulled this mask from Jekyll revealing the evil inside after all they are the same person.
Lord of the Flies is much the same as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde because they both deal with mans struggle to control his inner evil, but however in Lord of the Flies it is children who are evil and not adults like in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, so does this show that you are born evil? It certainly challenges the idea that you are born free from sin, as some of the children in Lord of the Flies are from private schools and you would think to be better brought up and you could say somewhat shielded from the world, but the children who were from a public education system behaved better and tried to overthrow to the evil that lay on the island. Lord of the flies shows emotions through its characters, Piggy who represents conscience and logic, Simon who represents Jesus and Jack and Ralph who are the leaders of the two “gangs” (good and evil). At the beginning of the novel it is hard to differentiate between the “good” and “bad” people because they have all just met each other and are all trying to out do each other in a bid to be popular but does this in itself show that maybe they are all evil?
When the two gangs split up and start living separately its like Jekyll and Hyde because its like one gang is Jekyll and the other gang Hyde and as the story goes on the Hyde gang tries to kill the Jekyll gang. Also the Hyde gang use masks when hunting for food “body held up a mask that drew their eyes and appalled them. He began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling,” this shows that by putting masks on they are acting like Hyde transforming them from laughter to being “snarling and bloodthirsty.” “Jack hid liberated from shame and self consciousness,” this is exactly How Jekyll feels When he transforms in to Hyde because he is liberated from all consciousness and feels free to do whatever he wants.
When Jacks gang are wearing these masks they launch attacks on Ralph’s gang, the results of which end up in the death of Piggy, so all conscience and logic is removed and then as all they are removed we see the breakdown of their community and the “good” gang becomes equally as vicious as the bad gang showing that evil is like a disease that can’t be healed and just keeps spreading. Simon also dies of an epileptic shock and this signifies that as he is the “Jesus” figure surely all hope and good is lost now, this is like when Jekyll becomes so ill he lets Hyde take over “he was so frail he only raised a hand to bade him a welcome,” and shows that there is no going back now evil has taken a strong hold on the island and can only get worse, good can no longer triumph over evil.
When the navy finally rescues the boys nobody knows what has happened the island and they can only assume that the missing boys were killed in the plane crash. This shows mans naivety and arrogance to think that young innocent boys couldn’t have brutally murdered one boy and left another to die, this reflects Jekyll and Hyde by the way in which nobody realises that a fine upstanding member of the community could possibly be a murderer although it is without his knowing but the boys on the island are young and you could say that without their parents and rules, they can’t differentiate between right and wrong.
Jekyll and Hyde was written in the Victorian times and it does challenge the idea of inner evil but good eventually wins because in the Victorian times people were moral and blind to the evil lurking before them and so sin was eventually killed in Jekyll and Hyde. In Lord of the Flies however you could say the evil triumphs which is the case in today’s modern society, but the children are rescued from the evil they have created which you could argue that maybe good triumphs over evil after all. Both authors say that evil is in us and not around us and that without rules evil will show itself more fully. Evil is a tempting attractive power that gives you freedom but if you are truly evil can you be truly happy? We all see evil but can we see our own? Maybe these novels are trying to show us that maybe we should look inside ourselves and see if we are truly evil or is evil just something we use as an excuse to hurt people?