The duality of human nature Essay
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One novel in particular was The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Lewis Stevenson. The main plot of the story is that there are two characters called Mr. Enfield and Mr. Utterson who were walking along on their weekly, Sunday walks and Mr. Enfield was telling Mr. Utterson about another horrible character called Mr. Hyde. Mr. Hyde badly hurt a young girl and that was the first evil the reader hears. Mr. Utterson went home to find a character called Dr.
Jekyll’s will who mentioned Mr. Hyde.
This is the first time Dr. Jekyll was mentioned. Mr. Utterson then waits for Mr.Hyde to enter the back door to Dr. Jekyll’s laboratory and this is the first encounter of him. He seems a very, very nasty man. Mr. Utterson and a great friend of his, Dr. Lanyon, barely ever see Dr. Jekyll for he has a nasty secret. He is Mr. Hyde. He does experiments on himself to change his personality. At first he thought he could control it but after a while, he changes involuntary. Dr. Lanyon finds out before Mr. Utterson does and it affects him mentally because of what he saw and eventually he turns very ill and dies.
Eventually, Dr. Jekyll goes “missing” and Mr.Utterson and a servant named Poole break into the lab to find the body of Mr. Hyde on the floor. Mr. Utterson then makes the connection that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were the same person. One disastrous incident is of Mr. Enfield telling Mr. Utterson about the time he was walking through the neighbourhood late one night when he witnessed a shrunken, misshapen man crash into and trample a young girl. Mr. Enfield captured and collared the man before he could get away and brought him back to the girl and the witnesses. The man was Mr. Hyde but no one knew that yet.
The man appeared so awfully ugly that the witnesses around him took an immediate dislike to him. “I had taken a loathing to my gentleman at first sight. So had the child’s family… I saw that Sawbones turned sick and white with the desire to kill him. ” The man was obviously like something no one has ever seen before and he also did something that was terrible with out even worrying about it and because he was so terribly horrible, they threatened to make his name a bad name among people unless he were to make amends. The man eventually said he would pay a hundred pounds.
The man obviously has enough money to be a respectable, upper class person but didn’t act like it. To obtain the money, he went into a neglected building through the only door and came back with a check signed with the name of a very reputable man. Furthermore, it wasn’t a fake or forgery. “The figure was stiff: but the signature was good for more than that, if it was only genuine. ” The horrid man was obviously hiding something that confused Mr. Enfield. He had a signature of a respectable man in society for a large sum of money that he didn’t have anything to do with.
After Mr. Enfield finished explaining, Mr.Utterson asked him a number of questions and Mr. Enfield tries to describe what the man was like but couldn’t quite explain, stating “I never saw a man I so disliked, and yet I scarce know why. ” This means that Mr. Hyde was not a usual person and there was something there that made him so different but no one could place their finger on it. Another horrible incident that happens is the murder of Sir Danvers Carew. A maid is the witness of a small, evil-looking man who she recognises as Mr. Hyde murdering Sir Danvers Carew. The maid described Hyde to be “like a madman. ” And that he had “ape-like fury”.
This suggests that Hyde did anything but act like a human being and he was acting like a wild beast of some sort. Within Sir Carew’s pocket there is a letter for Utterson so he is called right away. Utterson takes the police to Hyde’s address and thinks that it is weird that someone who lives in such squalor is the heir to Dr. Jekyll’s fortune. Inside the house has richness of the upper-class and this suggests that it may be a gift from Jekyll because only the upper-class could afford the place. There is also evidence that Jekyll and Hyde are linked for they find the walking stick Utterson gave Jekyll and the cheque book.
This means that Jekyll has something to hide as well as Hyde does. This incident illustrates the extent of Hyde’s capacity of evil where as before, the reader may have taken Hyde to just be nothing more than an unscrupulous opportunist, manipulating Jekyll. Hyde is violent at random, with no apparent motive, and with little concern for his own safety. Hyde disappears after the murder which suggests that he has some kind of otherworldly origin. With his lack of family and friends and people who can identify him, this makes this theory stronger.