Demi L. Steward
Professor Brian Flynn
1 November 2013
Good versus Evil: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
“Both sides of me were in dead earnest; I was no more myself when I laid aside restraint and plunged in shame, than when I laboured, in the eye of day, at the furtherance of knowledge or the relief of sorrow and suffering.” Good vs. Evil, the ultimate conflict of life. We’re taught at an early age to do well, be the best person that we could possibly be. However, some form of evil still lies festering within everyone. We—people as a whole, have become so obsessed by suppressing these natural compulsions of evil that we’ve almost become a slave to it. It is by nurture that we are all dictated by the urgency to maintain a high morale, thus having our evils perpetuate our good.
Dr. Jekyll’s “good” identity, bares a stark contrast to that of his private, or “evil” identity. The narrator describes Jekyll as being “large, well-made, smooth-faced man of fifty, with something of a slyish cast perhaps, but every mark of capacity and kindness.” Jekyll is a reputable man of high education and wealth. He is a charitable gentleman of good virtue. Robert Louis Stevenson’s depiction of Mr. Hyde, Jekyll’s evil identity, is quite the opposite. “...Edward Hyde was so much smaller, slighter and younger than Henry Jekyll. Even as good shone upon the countenance of the one, evil was written broadly and plainly on the face of the other. Evil besides (which I must still believe to be the lethal side of man) had left on that body an imprint of deformity and decay…” Dr. Jekyll goes onto explain that when he transformed into Mr. Hyde, he felt more powerful, that the personality of Mr. Hyde was much more inviting, there was something about Mr. Hyde that felt natural to him. “…And yet when I looked upon that ugly idol in the glass, I was conscious of no repugnance, rather of a leap of welcome. This, too, was myself. It seemed natural and human. In my eyes it bore a livelier...