Jekyll and Hyde Themes

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  • Jekyll and Hyde
    • Duality
      • "Agonizing womb of consciousness, these polar twins should be continuously struggling"
        • We are not meant to separate our good from our evil
          • Part of the fundamental struggle of being human is the two sides which wrestle against one another to determine who we are and what we do
            • The struggle feels agonizing because its never finished
              • We are tempted by the darkness
              • We work to strengthen the light
      • "Already committed to a profound duplicity of life"
        • Jekyll represses himself to hide his desires to uphold his gentlemanly social status
        • He already has chosen to live this way - he is already committed to it so there is no point in turning back and changing his mind now he's already there
      • Starts with comparing duality between Jekyll and Hyde
        • Jekyll thinks that everyone has 2 sides, good and bad just like himself, but he splits himself into good and bad, and pure evil
          • "Man is not truly one, but truly two"
            • Jekyll believes that everyone should be the way he is and split their personality into two
            • Jekyll is convinced that man has a dual nature and knows what he is doing is dangerous
    • Reputation
      • The main reason Jekyll created Hyde
        • "conceal my pleasures"
          • Jekyll wanted to hide his sin  through the use of Hyde
            • To uphold his reputation as a Victorian gentleman who is part of the upper class in society, expected to be respectable
      • Even Hyde cares about his repuatation in some ways
        • "no gentleman but wishes to avoid a scene"
        • However, he trampled a girl and killed Sir Danvers Carew
          • "Trampled calmly"
            • Juxtaposition
    • Good Vs. Evil
      • Jekyll thinks that everyone has 2 sides, good and bad just like himself, but he splits himself into good and bad, and pure evil
        • "Man is not truly one, but truly two"
          • Jekyll believes that everyone should be the way he is and split their personality into two
          • Jekyll is convinced that man has a dual nature and knows what he is doing is dangerous
      • Jekyll Vs. Hyde
        • Constant battle between good and evil
          • Hyde is portrayed as animalistic (evil)
            • "Ape-like fury"
            • "Hissing"
            • "snarling"
            • "Masked thing like a monkey"
    • Friendship
      • Jekyll's relationships
        • Holds regular dinner parties
          • Utterson and some other "intelligent, reputable" upper class men
        • Lanyon
          • "Jekyll became too fanciful for me" ~ Lanyon
          • Jekyll describes Lanyon as a "Hide-bound pedant"
        • Utterson
          • Utterson is a good man - he want to help Jekyll out because he thinks he is being blackmailed
            • "I would trust you before any man alive - even before myself"
        • Hyde
          • He would miss Hyde
            • "Conceal my pleasures"
          • Jekyll begins to feel over powered by Hyde
            • Turns into Hyde when he doesn't want to ( he hadn't taken the potion )
          • "Friend and Benifactor"
      • Hyde's relationships
        • All of the relationships Hyde has with people are bad
        • Jekyll
          • He wouldn't care if Jekyll never came back
    • Science
      • Supernatural - Jekyll begins to mess with things that were to be seen as supernatural and not science
        • "not only hellish, but inorganic"
      • Affects Jekyll's relationship with Lanyon
        • "Unscientific balderdash"
        • "I have had a shock - I shall never recover"
      • "wholly towards the mystic and transcendental"
      • Jekyll's science causes death and destruction
      • Goes against religious beliefs
        • He doesn't want god to  see him sin so he conceals his pleasures and created Hyde so Jekyll can keep a clear conscience
    • Deceitfulness/Deception
      • "Concealed my pleasures"
      • Jekyll is Hyde
      • Plot is driven by deceit
        • Utterson wants to find out about Jekyll and Hyde's relationship together
          • Jekyll keeps telling Utterson to drop the subject when talking about Mr. Hyde or his will
            • "I do not care to hear more - this is a matter I thought we agreed to drop"
              • "The large handsome face of Dr. Jekyll grew pale to the very lips and their became a blackness about his eyes"
    • Mystery/ Secrecy
      • Stevenson leaves a lot of gaps -  it makes the reader more suspicious of things that are left unspoken or unexplained
      • Gentlemen characters often decide not to speak about unpleasant things and pretend they are not happening
        • Utterson and Enfield decide never to talk about Hyde again
          • "Let us bargain never to refer to this again
      • They make shocking events seem normal
        • Trampled girl described as a "bad story"
        • Lanyon regards Jekyll as dead and Utterson replies "tut-tut"
      • Stevenson uses locked doors as symbols
      • Hyde
        • Portrayed as a mysterious character
          • We don't know that Jekyll and Hyde are the same person until the very end of the book - Henry Jekyll's full statement of the case
  • Quotes
  • Themes
  • Context
    • Gothic fiction
      • Deformity and super natural
      • Frankenstein
    • Published in 1886
      • Victorian era - Queen Victoria
    • Industrial revolution
      • "Smog" - pathetic fallacy
    • Science
      • Darwinism

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