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Book Analysis: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Updated on June 25, 2017

The Duality of Human Nature

In the book “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” Steven Robertson presents an engrossing perspective of good vs evil, both of which are inherent in man. Robertson presents insights and events from a third point of view to illustrate how the power of good vs evil fights to control man. This form of narration has been effective in the sense that it involves the reader who in this case is the audience to be involved as a member of the society. The book has vividly provided a “consensus version” of the life and nature of two characters, who are eventually depicted as one “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. Through these characters, point of view and settings, Robertson has examined the duality of human nature (consisting of both good and evil) and which is inherent in all men.

The double nature of man is made explicit at the end of the book when the relationship of Dr. Jekyll and Hyde is unveiled. It is therefore only possible to confront this theory explicitly after all events in the novel have been revealed, including the crimes that Hyde committed and his eventual eclipsing to Jekyll. In this light, the novel postulates the concept of duality in human nature as its essential theme. Moreover, it also forces one to contemplate the characteristics of this duality while considering every episode in the novel and weighing numerous theories.

Jekyll declares that “man consists of two figures and not one” (ch 10). He even imagines that human soul is like a battleground between a “fiend” and an “angel”, and each is struggling to be the master. However, his potion, which he thought was going to separate and make each element pure, only succeeded in bringing into being a dark side in the name of Hyde, only that he has no angelic colleague. Hyde takes over slowly after being unleashed, and continues until Jekyll ceases to exist. The audience is left wondering what happened to the angel because Jekyll says man is half angel and half fiend, but at the end, the angel ceases to exist when Hyde takes over Jekyll. This portrays the power of evil over good. In other words, good and evil are in constant fight to dominate one another, though evil proves to be a powerful force.

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