Jekyll And Hyde Analysis

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Doubles in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde In the novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson explores the notion of seemingly Manichaean doubles, Jekyll and Hyde. Under the influence of a drug, Dr Jekyll acquires the ability to transform into a second, albeit more bestial and primal self, Hyde. Initially it seems that the relationship between the two separate identities is symbiotic and a balancing act of sorts, with Jekyll as the veneer of respectability and gentility, and Hyde as the means by which he fulfils his socially unacceptable, and thus, clandestine pleasures. However, with Hyde gaining more power and the conclusion of the novel with Jekyll’s suicide; probably in order to avoid a full and permanent transformation into Hyde, it becomes obvious that the two identities cannot remain isolated and are deeply intertwined. This exact nature of their relationship premises the novel as Stevenson’s critique of the 19th century Victorian society, its hypocrisies and its anxieties. It is noteworthy that although Stevenson presents a particularly dichotomic nature of things, upon deeper analysis, he also suggests that human nature is multiplex and the many layers are permeable and so is the social realm despite all our efforts at dichotomic fragmentation. Jekyll and Hyde represent a collusion between two seemingly separate sense of selves, each fulfilling its own assigned role. J.R. Hammond’s summary of the conflict central to the double
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