Nature Of Evil In Jekyll And Hyde

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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was first published in 1886 by Robert Louis Stevenson. The novella is still popular today as Stevenson tackles issues which were apparent to his Victorian audience as well as today. The whole book faces dualism whether that is between Religion and Science, Jekyll and Hyde or Good and Evil. All the themes in the story interlink with his interpretations of evil throughout society. Hyde is the character that personifies evil and Stevenson uses this to explore where this evil comes from. Stevenson was a Calvinist, which is a branch of the Presbyterian Church, Calvinism is a branch of Christianity that believes that life after death is already decided and cannot be altered. The authors beliefs are expressed through the story and enables the reader to question whether religion is the cause of evil in society. Stevenson offers two interpretations of evil; the first being that everyone is capable of the wrongdoings done by Hyde but the rules and restrictions stop this happening while the second interpretation is that the restrictions have lead to the monstrous Hyde to be created. The first of these ideas shows us Stevenson religious views. The majority of laws and regulations come from those in religion, these rules were laid out to offer us a path to heaven, and therefore this opposes the Calvinist belief that the choice to go to heaven is not our own. Dr. Jekyll who withdraws himself from temptations lets his Hyde side show to rebel against this. At this point at the end of the nineteenth century Charles Darwin had published his book explaining his theories on evolution, this theory disproved the existence of god and the strong religious society began to decline, twice in the book Stevenson uses the simile ‘as empty as a church’. This emphasises the decline of religion something which may have resulted in the creation of

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