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Morality is the extent to which an action is defined as either wrong or right. It can also be viewed as a set of values that guide society in distinguishing good and evil. In Stevenson’s strange case of Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll, morality is in whirlwinds since evil is the order of the day. In the first chapter, Enfield narrates the sad story of the evil man who comes out of the strange door and knocks a little girl down.
The evil man identified as Hyde “leaves the girl screaming on the ground” due to pain and walks away senselessly without saying any word or minding to help (Stevenson et al., 3). Hyde does not apologize to the girl’s family but instead, he gives them a cheque. Literally, this is not right because a wrong doing cannot be settled off by money but by the actions of morality to show that one is actually caring.
A politician is beaten to death; according to the statutes of the land, this is viewed as murder which is against the values of the society besides being considered evil.
“He was trampling his victim under his feet and hailing down a storm of blows, under which the bones were audibly shattered and the body jumped upon the door way” (Stevenson et al., 17-18). The person responsible for this death is nowhere to be found. This act is not punished since there are no actions of justice taken in regard to this murder.
Lawyer Utterson’s client sir Danvers Carew has been murdered and this lawyer is forced by circumstances to go and identify the client’s body (Watts et al.
, 19-21). Once again, the person responsible for this death is not brought to justice because he disappears. Jekyll, Hyde’s friend claims that he does not know where he is. Despite the fact that a person has been murdered, he goes on to entertain himself and his friends in parties. These acts appear collective and depict a society that is evil, with people who do not take care of each other and that hides the truth when crimes such as murder keep on being committed. Morality demands for self-discipline and cognition when it comes to the other people. This is to say that morality will never give a chance or create a platform in which people are mistreated or put to pain. This was not the case in as far as this text is concerned.
Dr. Jekyll creates a potion in his laboratory that separates the evil man from the good man. When taken, this potion creates a lot of harm. When Hyde takes this potion, he becomes strong and starts to commit murders that are hurt this society. Nevertheless, he cannot be stopped. This is an act done out of selfishness and without the thought of the implications it has on society. The loss of life means the end of life. We cannot talk about a society without the people themselves. It is clear, thus, that Mr. Hyde is a tragedy to the society and on legal grounds while given the chance, he should be wiped out to save the larger population. This is wrong and it brings a lot of evil leave alone the murder it depicts the lack of compassion and causes huge pain.
Dr. Jekyll at the end commits suicide by taking poison while inside his laboratory. This poison kills both Hyde and Jekyll. Suicide is unacceptable, as a matter of fact, it is a sign that shows the extent to which evil is prevalent in this society. Though this act of suicide is meant to eliminate evil and disastrous Hyde, it is not right as it kills Jekyll too (Watts et al., 47-48). There is a lot of moral confusion in this novel. This is evident in the whole suspicion on who is committing killings and the insane acts of creating potions that bring problems to the community (Watts et al, 52). This confusion is also what makes it hard to catch the murderer and also identify the real cause of the problems.
In Conrad’s Hearts of Darkness evil is evident in terms of murder, slavery, exploitation, and suicide. For instance, Marlow replaces a captain who was killed in a skirmishing attack by the natives “one of their captains had been killed in a scuffle with the natives” (Conrad, 13). This is an act that shows that there is no peace between the natives in Congo and the ivory collection company. On arrival, Marlow gets privy to information on a company member who committed suicide. Suicide is wrong and evil thus it is against morality.
The young boy at the station looks weak and empty which is a clear indication of the lack of basic necessities. Marlow descries black shapes that seem to be dying slowly, “black shadows of disease and starvation.” In reality, this situation can be compared to the blacks working hard for the colonists but dying of hunger and diseases (Elwin et al., 29-30). Marlow also meets a well-dressed man who he deems as an epitome of respect and elegance. The two people at the station are a good indication of the big gap between the rich and the poor that the society presents. The natives here are being exploited by this ivory company and work really hard at no pay. Their resources are being taken against their will. This is evident in the attacks the natives’ launch against the ivory company employees and the killings that emanate.
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