Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Life of Dr. Henry Jekyll
The focal point of this essay is to define the life of Dr. Henry Jekyll,
and the transformation he went through in becoming Edward Hyde. Dr. Henry Jekyll
is a physician in London. He is very well respected and is currently
experimenting the dual nature of man kind. Edward Hyde is a manifestation of Dr.
Jekyll’s personality. He is accused of committing evil acts throughout the novel.
The first scene consists of Mr. Richard Enfield’s and Mr. Utterson
walking along a street in London. Mr. Enfield has a recollection of a previous
incident in which he witnessed an extremely unpleasant man trampling upon a
small screaming girl while this man was running somewhere. A large crowd had
gathered around and they saw the man, Edward Hyde. The crowd forced the man to
give money to this girl for trampling over her. Hyde did not run over her for
any reason. He just did it out of spite and evil. He represents all the evil in
the world. The reaction of others to him is one of horror because while looking
at him, others feel a desire to strike out at him and kill him. His physical
appearance brings out the worst evil in other people. Since Hyde represents evil,
he is symbolically represented as being much smaller than Dr. Jekyll.
I believe Dr. Jekyll created Hyde because he had a theory that man has a
good side and a bad side. While investigating this, he developed a potion that
could release the evil in a person in the form of a totally different person.
Then this person could commit any evil act it wanted, and then drink the potion
to return back to normal. The only problem with this is the fact that he drank
this potion so many times, he was no longer able to control this process. He was
unable to transform back into Dr. Jekyll.
Another example of Hyde’s evil is in the killing of Sir Danvers Carew.
Sir Danvers appears to have been killed for no apparent reason. The murder of
Sir Danvers was seen by a maid who was working nearby. She states that Hyde meet
with a man in the street. After the two exchanged words, Mr. Hyde lifted his
heavy walking stick and clubbed the old man to death. This tells us the reader
that Mr. Hyde has grown in fury. From trampling over a child in the first scene,
he now commits murder for no reason. I believe Hyde killed Sir Danvers because
Sir Danvers was described as being a peaceful and good man. Hyde represents pure
evil, so naturally he would hate good gentlemen. The only reason why Sir Danvers
dies, was because he was a good man. He not only killed Sir Danvers’, he had to
trample over him. The goodness of Sir Danvers brings out the most intense evil
From the source “Selves and Shadows” we receive an indepth look into the
novel. David Hume asks the question, “Would any man, who is walking along, tread
as willingly on another’s gouty toes, whom he has no quarrel with, as on the
hard flint and pavement? Well, here is that man, and his total blindness to any
feeling but his own is central to his character. As Jekyll puts it, when he is
eventually driven to attempt a choice between his two lives.” It is very obvious
that no man would want to start a fight, if there is no reason to fight. Since
Mr. Hyde represents the evil in men, Dr. Jekyll releases his evil through his
other side, Mr. Hyde. Mr. Hyde is Jekyll’s way of releasing his anger.
In the final chapter called, “Jekyll’s Full Statement” Jekyll reveals
everything. He states, “No one but me knows my true nature. All these years, the
public has seen only a veneer of my real self.” This is so very true due mostly
to the fact that no one knew Mr. Hyde was a part of Dr. Jekyll. Jekyll
constantly emphasizes the greatness of his background. He reminds us of his
wealthy family, and great education. But he also states “that man is not truly
one, but truly two.”
In conclusion, Dr. Jekyll needed something, or someone to represent the
evil which has built up inside of him. He created this through experiments,
which lead to a potion. This potion transformed him anytime he wanted. He was
transformed into Mr. Hyde. I believe evil is just a small portion of men, that
is why Mr. Hyde had a dwarfish appearence. The main point being, was that the
potion took over his life, and Dr. Jekyll finally realizes he is unable to
transform back into his goodness. He attemts to commit suicide, as this is his
only way of destroying Mr. Hyde.