Analysis Of Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

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The Victorian era is a time of promise and change under Queen Victoria’s rule. During this time of change, there were numerous advancements in both science and social aspects. When Robert Louis Stevenson published Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Victorians saw a glimpse of these advancements and behaviors. Dr. Jekyll, a promising doctor, believes he is making medical strides and therefore, improving the world with his medicine. However, the deeper readers get into the story, they begin to see that Dr. Jekyll is tormented by his discovery and the “assistant” that helps him discover it. Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde sparks a psychological revolution while exposing a remarkable illumination of Dissociative …show more content…
Jekyll, his appearance and personality is polar opposite. Hyde is described as "abnormal and misbegotten" (Stevenson 76-77). He is young, small in stature with an ape-like face sporting a "swart growth of hair" over the "dusky pallor" of his skin tone (Stevenson 93). Perhaps more terrifying, he displays attributes of narcissism and hysteria (Stevenson 78). In order to “fit” into society as Dr. Jekyll does, Hyde must try to blend in; however, he is an evil soul and soon cannot contain himself. When Hyde assaults a girl, the family and witnesses demand retribution for her family. They tell him to Expect “such a scandal…as should make his name stink from one end of London to the other” (Stevenson 6). Needing to blend into the London crowd, Hyde, conforming to Victorian society, pays the family off as he is told. Victorians experience an interesting reaction to Stevenson’s novella as they are introduced to the concept that good and evil dwells in everyone. This does not correspond with the views of their society and forces them to reveal their hypocrisy …show more content…
Jekyll is a severely repressed man who wants the guise of respectability, but only on the outside; on the inside, he has dark, dirty secrets that he dare not pursue. Sigmund Freud claimed, “The very act of entering into civilized society entails the repression of various archaic, primitive desires” (Felluga Repression), so it seems that Dr. Jekyll is justified in his instinct to repress. Freud goes on to say that acclimated individuals also repress their baser instincts (Felluga Repression), therefore, even someone as adjusted as Dr. Jekyll can easily all prey to such repression. For individuals such as Hyde, the situation is much bleaker. Often, these individuals develop perversions and are not adjusted. This occurs when “the individual completely accepts and pursues his or her desire for alternative sexual objects and situations” (Felluga Repression). For example, Utterson believes Jekyll’s depravity is homosexuality; however, his perversion is much worse and come in the form of the murderous Hyde. Peter Barry says, “Repression, is the ‘forgetting’ or ignoring of unresolved conflicts, unadmitted desires, or traumatic past events, so that they are forced out of conscious awareness and into the realm of the unconscious” (92-93). This opens another avenue of discussion as it attributes Jekyll’s repression to a specific event in time suggesting that “The goal is to determine the repressed sexual desires or traumatic events that are causing the abnormal behavior to

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