CHARACTER ANALYSIS- Henry Jekyll

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  • CHARACTER ANALYSIS- Henry Jekyll
    • PILLAR IN SOCIETY
      • Behaves in a socially acceptable way
        • Carries his "head high" in public and is "fond of the respect" people give him
      • Good and respectable man
        • "well known and highly considered"
    • PUTS ON A FACE TO APPEAR RESPECTABLE
      • Puts on a excessively respectable front
        • "a more than commonly grave countenance before the public"
      • Worries about his hidden desires- thinks there far worse than they are as he is so obsessed with appearing respectable
      • His hidden desires make him feel guilty so he creates a "deeper trench" between his good an bad side than most people
        • THEME REPUTATION=He excessive sense of guilt for what he sees as his "faults" may be a criticism of the pressures Victorian society placed on people to appear respectable
      • He hides his desires
        • "almost morbid sense of shame"
          • His hidden desires make him feel guilty so he creates a "deeper trench" between his good an bad side than most people
            • THEME REPUTATION=He excessive sense of guilt for what he sees as his "faults" may be a criticism of the pressures Victorian society placed on people to appear respectable
    • AMBITIOUS MAN OF SCIENCE
      • His work in "transcendental medicine" shows he is a brilliant scientist
      • His research is controversial
        • Lost the respect of Dr Lanyon because of his "unscientific balderdash"
        • Not seen as respectable in Lanyon's eyes as it crosses the boundaries from science into the mystical world
      • He's motivated by ambition and a selfish desire to be relieved of his guilty conscience
        • "relieved of all that was unbearable"
      • Wants to rid himself of the curse that man's good side and bad side are bound together
        • "the curse of mankind"
      • CONTEXT= Scientific discoveries in the 1800's sometimes challenged religious beliefs. Jekyll use science to challenge the religious belief that people should lead a sin free life
    • KEEPS HIS EVIL SIDE SEPARATE TO HIMSELF
      • He creates a completely separate identity for his evil side
        • Gives his evil side a name - Mr Edward Hyde
        • Furnishes a house and employs a housekeeper for Hyde
        • Chooses a house in a different part of town and dresses him "very plainly"
      • Often refers to Hyde in the third person
        • "I find it in my heart to pity him"
        • THEME DUALITY OF MAN= alternates between referring to Hyde is third person. This reflects his hypocrisy- he understand that man has a dual nature but he ha trouble to accept that Hyde is part of him
          • "He, I say -I cannot say, I"
      • Seems in many way the opposite of Hyde
        • JEKYLL= "kindness" , "a tall fine build", "all men's respect"
        • HYDE= "callous" , "dwarfish" , "damnable"
      • BUT THERE TOO SIDES OF THE SAME MAN
        • Jekyll's obsession with reputation is reflected in Hyde
          • "No gentlemen but wishes to avoid a scene"- has no reputation to protect which suggests he is thinking like Jekyll
        • Hyde is clever like Jekyll eg. in the park he figured out how to get the drugs- he isn't just animalistic and primative
    • INCREASINGLY LOOSES HOLD OD HIS DARK SIDE
      • "slowly loosing hold of my original and better self"
        • Wakes up as Hyde without taking the drug
      • Jekyll fights to control Hyde, but Hyde is stronger eg. David Carew murdered after Hyde is suppressed for 2 months
        • CONTEXT= Victorians represses their desires in order to maintain respectability. Stevenson may be criticising the dangers of this kind of repression
      • Finally he completely looses hold of his dark side which suggests evil is the stronger side of our personality

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