Different Stages Of Dr Jekylls Experimentation

1461 words (6 pages) Essay in English Literature

27/04/17 English Literature Reference this

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Dr. Jekyll is a respectably gentleman living in the late-Victorian society. He has a desire to eliminate all the bad and evil traits from his humanity, to not outstand from the old gentleman standards of morality. Therefore Dr. Jekyll is begging to makes experiments that would allow him to remove his evil desires or to separate them from the Jekyll persona. Finally Dr. Jekyll finds a way to separate his two identities by drawing a special potion. After drinking it, Jekyll changes in both a physical and mental way, although some part of him stays aware of the change. This way Dr. Jekyll creates a new identity for himself. He calls it Mr. Hyde.

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As we read the story, we find out how Dr. Jekyll feels and thinks about the Hyde persona. Through the story we see that Jekyll changes his feelings and attitude towards his second identity, Mr. Hyde. That way we can divide the story into three stages. At the beginning Dr. Jekyll treats Hyde as a relief. But as time passes, Jekyll finds Hyde to be cruel and evil which discourages and makes him feel disgust to Hyde. By the end of the story we see that Jekyll starts to feel as if Hyde is his own, personal curse.

At first, when Dr. Jekyll finds out a way to separate his evil nature from his polite self, he is very pleased. A second persona allowed Dr. Jekyll to remain a gentleman with a perfect reputation and without a blemish in the society. When a need came, Jekyll simply changed into a different but at the same time, same person to release all the evil whims that gathered on his ‘bad’ side of humanity. That way Dr. Jekyll finds Hyde an easy way to commit evil, without risking his own good name. It is clear, that Jekyll creates Hyde because of the “repressive strictures of late-Victorian society” [1] . In that time, men were supposed to be gentlemen, to be perfect and polite. The most important thing that time was to keep their good name.

Dr. Jekyll has had an inner conflict with himself. He thought about the two aspects of his life. From one side he wanted to stay a man with a perfect reputation, but at the same time he had to fight his evil side of nature. This has pushed Dr. Jekyll to create a second persona, Mr. Hyde. Hiding under a different persona allowed Jekyll to keep his good name, without sacrificing the forbidden desires. Dr. Jekyll treats Hyde as a relief and a perfect solution for life.

As time passes, Dr. Jekyll becomes a very happy man. He lives a two-persona life, with no social boundaries. Although it seems good, not everything is going the way Jekyll has wanted it. One night, an incident happens that shows Dr. Jekyll the real truth about Hyde. On a late evening, on one of the London streets, Mr. Hyde tramples a small girl. After that, Jekyll realizes that Hyde has no boundaries. He starts to think about the whole situation and comes up with a thought that he has created a monster, with an unexpected nature. The thought starts to scare him and makes him think more of Hyde. Suddenly he sees that Hyde has no good traits, as if he would be made of pure evil in a both the mental and physical way. Dr. Jekyll gives a theory of his own for the look of Mr. Hyde in his statement.

“The evil side of my nature, to which I had now transferred the stamping efficacy, was less robust and less developed than the good which I had just deposed. (…) And hence, as I think, it came about that Edward Hyde was so much smaller, slighter and younger then Henry Jekyll. (…) Evil besides had left on that body an imprint of deformity and decay.” [2] 

This shows us that Jekyll understands that Hyde is made out of pure evil, which not only influences the way Hyde thinks but also the way Hyde looks, as if he would develop only in the evil part of the human nature. Discovering all this causes Dr. Jekyll to become afraid of the boundless Hyde. It is the moment in which he decides to stop drinking the potion, and changing into Hyde, for his and everyone else’s safety.

There is another factor that affects Jekylls’ change in the attitude towards Hyde. After some time of using the potion, Hydes’ persona seems to get used to it. The change isn’t painful anymore; many times Jekyll doesn’t feel it at all. Sometimes, Dr. Jekyll has to take more then one potion to change back into his normal body. This leads to a sudden and unexpected event. One day, Henry Jekyll wakes up in his bed having a weird feeling. He looks at his hands and finds them different. The hands do not belong to him; they are short and yellow while his hands were long and pale. This lead Dr. Jekyll to a conclusion that he has changed into Edward Hyde during sleep, without taking the potion. The uncontrolled event scares Jekyll even more, especially when it happens again, while he is on a walk in a park. The uncontrolled changes become a large problem, and greatly contribute to the fact that Jekyll starts hate the Hyde persona. From that moment on, Jekyll decides not to change into Hyde anymore.

In the third stage we can see how Dr. Jekyll fully understands the fact that Hyde is pure evil and starts to take him as a personal curse. After two months of normal, ordinary life, Jekyll feels an intense longing to change into Hyde once more. Living and relying temptation is tiring for Dr. Jekyll. He decides to change once again into the boundary less Hyde. Jekyll writes:

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“But I have voluntarily stripped myself of all those balancing instincts by which even the worst if s continues to walk with some degree of steadiness among temptations; and in my case, to be tempted, however slightly was to fall. Instantly the spirit of hell awoke in me and raged.” [3] 

This way we know that when Dr. Jekyll changes, it seems that the power that cumulated through the two months in Hyde bursts out in a kind of madness. In this state of mind Jekyll, in the Hyde persona kills a man. Later when the mist of evil drops down, Jekyll realizes what he has done and starts to hate Mr. Hyde, as well as himself in some way.

Then the problems with changing back his own body begin and that is the beginning of the end, for both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. When it is too late, Jekyll finds Hyde to be his curse, that lead to his destruction and has no positive feelings toward the second persona.

As we see, Dr. Jekyll needs to experience many unpleasant events to change his attitude for his second persona. We see that in different stages, that he has different feelings for Hyde. At first, he has relief from the second persona, later he gets a kind of disgust to Mr. Hyde and at the end he stats to hate him.

It would make sense to say that Dr. Jekyll was the total opposite of Mr. Hyde therefore, if Hyde was pure evil, Jekyll was supposed to be pure good. Not only has his thinking led to it but also his look, as if ‘fully’ grown. Although that makes sense it is obvious that Jekyll can not be pure good, because he has a longing that pulls him towards evil, to which he finally gives up.

The story Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a perfect example to show how a style of life accepted by the society can ruin someone’s life. To find a perfect solution Dr. Jekyll creates a second persona, which as time passes, he finds to be pure evil, something similar to a curse. For me the story is a perfect way to show that a person has to find a golden mean, or something close to it. The feelings Dr. Jekyll has for Hyde in each stage of the story are reasonable and it’s sad that Dr. Jekyll has to go through this alone.

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