Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Strange People
Dr. Jekyll of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a doctor who uses his laboratory to concoct a serum which turns him into his evil alter ego Hyde. Dr. Jekyll and Hyde come across as opposites however, they also have a similarity. Both Hyde and Jekyll share no sense of morality and have evil intentions. However, Hyde goes the extra mile and his physicality and actions are also evil. Hyde because of his deformity is expected to be evil and can therefore express his evil desires when he wishes. The difference between the two though is that Jekyll due to his appearance and social status has to hide his morale evilness.
Hyde is someone composed of pure evilness. He has no morality, commits evil actions such as murder, and his appearance is pure evil. Hyde is described as “…something displeasing, something downright detestable…I never saw a man I so disliked…he gives a strong feeling of deformity…” (11).
With word use like “displeasing,” “detestable,” and “deformity,” it’s easy to see why someone who sees the appearance of Hyde might make the assumption he’s capable of evil intentions, or he’s actually evil. To add to this, the statement said by Mr. Utterson, “…if ever I read Satan’s signature upon a face, it is not that of your new friend” (17) shows how evil he appears. It wouldn’t be considered out of the ordinary for someone who looks like Hyde to be caught doing something evil making him the perfect cover up for Jekyll.
Jekyll due to his appearance and status in society has to use Hyde as a cover up for his evil intentions. Dr. Jekyll is described as “…a large, well made, smooth-faced man of fifty, with something of a slyish cast perhaps, but every mark of capacity and kindness…” (19). Jekyll’s description directs to him being handsome, and kind. His description added with the fact he’s a doctor makes it unable for him to express, or even have evil intentions in his life. This is because he’s a doctor, and doctors help people rather than harm them. Also his appearance leads those around him away from the thought of evil intentions because he’s so handsome and kind. However, this doesn’t mean that Jekyll isn’t in fact just as evil as Hyde.
While Hyde performs evil actions like murder, it’s still Jekyll behind them. Hyde isn’t physically another body. Jekyll’s just hiding his evilness behind another identity of his with the help of a scientific transformation. Jekyll all along has had evil intentions. He just couldn’t express them due to the reactions and consequences he’d face. In his statement of the case, Jekyll says, “If each, I told myself, could but be housed in separate identities, life would be relieved of all that was unbearable; the unjust might go his way…” (49).
Here Jekyll admits that he doesn’t want the consequences but wants the reward of committing evil actions. Jekyll says his life “…would be relieved of all that was unbearable,” (49) but “…the unjust might go his way.” What Jekyll would be relieved of is having to hold in his evil intentions. The unjust he’s describing is the consequences he’d face, and the “his way” he’s describing is another identity on which the consequences would fall. Hyde is just a personality, and with the help of a scientific transformation appears to be a different body, but is not. The original body is still Jekyll, and the body of Hyde is being run by the evil thoughts of Jekyll.
While Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a story about good v.s. evil within Jekyll and Hyde, Jekyll is in fact also evil. His desire to commit evil actions by creating a new identity he can place the blame on is morally not right. Even if it was Jekyll’s alter ego Hyde committing the acts, Jekyll creating Hyde with the help of a scientific transformation allowed evil to be placed into the world with the intention something bad would happen is just as evil as committing the actions themselves.