The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson Book Review

In this famous book by Robert Louis Stevenson, which has beaten time, Dr. Jekyll discovers a way of splitting his evil side from his good side, but not without a price that leads him to his demise, in the end. In his need to discover what man is born capable of, Dr. Jekyll spends most of his time exploring religion and science, until he comes up with a syrup, that once drunk, changes his body and form to that of Hyde; an ugly short fellow with a certain deformity, and a heinous character.

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One thing that I enjoyed while reading this book is the ability of the writer to master the English language, as well as create suspense throughout the book. One does not fully understand the story, until one has finished reading the book. Robert Louis Stevenson has managed to create a rather compelling story just (like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Adventures of Sherlock Holmes) that does not only create horror to the reader, but also makes one to ruminate on the different personalities, as well as abilities that are contained in man.

 

A Brief Overview of the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Mr. Utterson, who is a lawyer, is a close friend to Mr. Enflied, and they are of a habit of taking Sunday morning walks together. On one of their such walks, they pass through an empty street with huge buildings, and linger for awhile on one of the doors without a bell or a knocker, and Mr. Enfield narrates to his friend how one morning about three o’clock, when he was coming from one region of the city to the other, he witnessed a man trample a girl after they had bumped into one another, as the girl was running from something, then walked away even without considering that the child was hurt. As a result, the child cried and attracted the attention of people, who came to see what had happened at such a time. Dismayed and horrified by the man’s action, Mr. Enflied ran, seized the man, and brought him back to where the girl was with the crowd.

The rather deformed looking man named Hyde, with an evil air about himself, offered to pay for the misdemeanor, entered the house, and brought out a cheque for one hundred pounds, which turned out to be genuine.

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Mr. Utterson, baffled by the story, seeks to know more about this man, and from his research, and plus also from the will of Dr. Jekyll, who says if he were to mysteriously disappear all his properties should go to Hyde, he deduces that Hyde is a close friend to Dr. Jekyll. Mr. Utterson fronts his friend the doctor, but he refuses to disclose any information pertaining to his relationship with Hyde, thus one night he confronts Hyde, but the former does not say much. However, one year later when Hyde commits the murder of Sir Danvers Carew, Dr. Jekyll sends a letter to Dr. Lanyon, a very close friend of his, telling him to make haste and go to his house, where he will meet Poole, the butler, in company of a locksmith, they break down the door of his laboratory, take a small drawer, and then the doctor to carry it to his house and wait for a man, who will come to take it at midnight. If Dr. Lanyon would want to know the reason for this bizarre request, he will be told after accomplishing the said deed.

After Dr. Lanyon does this, he sends a letter to Mr. Utterson, saying that he longer wishes to see Dr. Jekyll, and that the letter should be opened only when Dr. Jekyll dies. A few days later Dr. Lanyon dies. Mr Utterson tries to confront Dr. Jekyll to know what events that led to the breakup of such a friendship that has lasted over the years, but the former refuses to see him.

After days later, Poole comes to see Mr. Utterson at night. He tells him how awfully unusual his boss, Dr. Jekyll, has been behaving, and that he is scared for his life. The two depart to the doctor’s house, and decide to break the door to his laboratory. They find Dr. Jekyll lying on the floor dead. There is a letter on the table addressed to Mr. Utterson. Upon reading it, Mr. Utterson finally understands everything. Dr. Jekyll and Hyde was the same person, and that when Dr. Lanyon had seen his friend Dr. Jekyll turn into Hyde after talking a portion, he decided to end their friendship, and that the reason why Hyde murdered Sir Danvers Carew was because he represented all the evil of Dr. Jekyll, as well as he marveled at committing evil deeds, and there was nothing Dr. Jekyll could do.

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Evil as a Salvation in the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

It is through constant experimentation that Dr. Jekyll finally achieves to create Hyde. This brings out the question, as to why he wanted to do this in the first place. Being born in a rich family, and having lived a life of luxury with everything he wanted, Dr. Jekyll reached a point where he wanted to do certain things without the society rendering him as insane, or as one whom had lost direction in life in spite of his old age. We can only assume that, even though he was a respected member of the society, he fancied unleashing his other self, which was wicked, mischievous, and young.

Through the creation of Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson showed that no matter how noble and moral we perceive ourselves; we secretly have an evil character in us, that longs to come out, but we hide it from the society. This side is responsible for making us commit bizarre actions, which excite us beyond anything else in life.

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Sometimes it is through our evil actions, that we attain true happiness. The wicked side of us makes us feel young, excited, and invaluably sets us free. When we no longer repress our evil thoughts, we attain a certain redemption, for man cannot be saved unless he errors. However, we must take caution not to let the evil side of us take over our life, thus giving us a totally different character and personality, like what happened to Dr. Jekyll, for then we will lose track of our evil deeds, consequently committing the worse of felonies like murder, massacre, or unnecessary mutiny.

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It is through sin that man finds a new meaning in life, for then he conjures ideas of why he exists. Yet, he must take caution and ensure that he does not fall under any peril or infringes on the rights and lives of other people, like Hyde did murdering Sir Danvers Carew. Man cannot be good, if he does not have a bad side, for goodness only exist in evil, therefore it is prudent for one to explore the dark fantasies and dreams, for then one grows and develops to chasteness.

 

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