Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde The Importance Of Identity Analysis

1708 Words 7 Pages
The Strange Importance of Identity

Humans are incredibly social creatures, and strive to be their personal best so they will have a stamp of approval from society. In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson and The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde this is seen clearly in both sets of works. During the Victorian era, social status was very important and determined who you were in society, it was paramount to be in the upper class of society. However, many individuals lived dual lives at the time hiding who they really were behind closed doors and showing their more presentable self when it was necessary. Although, many may say that the reasons Jack and Dr. Jekyll lived dual lives are because of love;
…show more content…
Jack is very well known in the countryside, he was wealthy and very socially accepted to everyone he knew. However, Jack was hiding a secret that no one was aware of, fueling his alter ego self and put aside is real identity and become someone else. Then, in the city Jack was known as Earnest; his two identities could not be more opposite. Unlike Jack, Earnest was the rebellious type; he was a womanizer flirting with women, partying, and never paid his bills. Trying to be perfect in the eyes of society puts a lot of pressure on one and “When one is placed in the position of guardian, one has to adopt a very high moral tone on all subjects. It 's one 's duty to do so. And as a high moral tone can hardly be said to conduce very much to either one 's health or one 's happiness, in order to get up to town I have always pretended to have a younger brother of the name of Ernest, who lives in the Albany, and gets into the most dreadful scrapes.” (Wilde. P1738) In other word, if Jack did not make his alter ego Earnest he would surly go mad and lose his sanity. However, doing this needed to be secretive because many of the things Jack would do in the country were not accepted by Victorian society, so in order to continue to be accepted back home in the countryside, Earnest was soon …show more content…
Of course, this was the motivation of many to live dual lives and create alter egos for themselves. In many instances, it appeared that maintaining their social status for society was more important than their sanity and well being as seen in Dr. Jekyll’s case, or more important than their happiness as shown in Jack’s case. Also, money played a very large part in the social hierarchy as well, as seen in The Importance of Being Earnest Lady Bracknell and other aristocrats, believe that old money is the only good money; which puts Jack down on the scale even though he has just as much money as they do, the only difference is it was earned. In conclusion, being socially accepted was priority number one in this era, and it wasn’t taken lightly. Many individuals, live their lives as a lie and cant display their true identities and be their true authentic selves without the possibility of being ridiculed and pushed far down on the social status ladder, which would not be the best place to be during this time period in Victorian England, if one was not socially accepted they essentially amounted to

Related Documents