We hear it all the time–the mad genius, the deranged artist, the crazy inventor. These sayings are stereotypes, true, but stereotypes have to come from somewhere. In the case of linking mental illness to creativity, the stereotypes come from science. In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the reader is introduced to the idea of a dual persona. One persona, Dr. Jekyll, is a well-to-do Englishman, while the other, Mr. Hyde, is a borderline sociopathic character who defies all societal norms on proper behavior and etiquette.
There are a number of differences and few similarities between the characters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The differences between the two men are mental, physical and moral. They are two separate personalities. Dr. Jekyll is an extremely intelligent and sane man with many good friends, known for his kindness and affectionate nature. On the other hand, Mr. Hyde is less educated, detestable and a loner.
Brom is described as “broad-shouldered and double-jointed.” Not only do these descriptions match the characters physical appearance, but they also match their personalities. Throughout the story, Irving forms the idea that a person’s appearance parallels their personality. Ichabod is physically described as weak in this story and Irving matches his actions to his appearance saying he is “an odd mixture of small shrewdness and simple credulity. ”Ichabod is not the type of character we would expect to win Katrina’s hand.
What would life be without evil in the world? Many optimists believe there is an inherent goodness gifted to all people at birth and fundamentally embedded in us that dictates our actions, but the reality is exactly the contrary. People are evil, not because of a desire or choice but out of absolute necessity on account of none of the things we enjoy today would be available or even invented without some evil. Evil, within limitations and with restrictions, is productive for a group of people. Society, with all its art, culture, music, and glory, was created because there was evil present and now works to destroy its very creator through police departments and social initiatives.
All this makes him unfit to be a round character, “one that is filled out, that is believable as the characterization of a real person” (Turco 49). And regardless of the fact that, “the protagonist sometimes exhibits the opposite characteristic of a hero; such a persona is called antihero[...]. This term is not to be confused with antagonist” (Turco 47) it is exactly that what might happen. Hence, the reader is unable to see Frankenstein as a stereotypical, protagonist, so the reader might think of him as the antagonist, the opposing - most times evil -
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll is a respected man, but out of his intentions to stay good comes an intense evil. He wanted to keep his good name, yet find a way to unleash his evil side. When Mr. Hyde is created it is with good intensions, but soon the evil becomes overwhelming and begins to control Mr. Jekyll. He only shows one person, Mr. Lanyon, his fatal second side.
Jekyll is seen performing scientific practice, attempting to achieve a goal which can be argued to exceed his mental capacity. Dr. Jekyll wished to remove his dark side, tampering with the duality of man. He expressed hatred towards is his darker side. It shows this in the quote “many a man would have even blazoned such irregularities as i was guilty of;... I regarded and hid them with an almost morbid sense of shame.”
The theme of dual personality is prominent in the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The two differ greatly in their looks, moral values and mental abilities. Because of this I believe that they are two different personalities. Dr. Jekyll is described as a good looking middle age man with a “smooth face”. His friends are comfortable socializing with him at his home.
“Atticus said no, it wasn’t that sort of thing, that there were other ways of making people into ghosts.” ( Chpt. 1, p11) Atticus says this to Scout and Jem in chapter one when the children speculate about the methods of intimidation Mr. Radley used to keep Boo Radley out of sight. Jem suspects that Mr. Radley keeps Boo Radley chained to the bed most of the time. Atticus points out to the children that there are “other ways of making people into ghosts”.