Good And Evil In Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

1558 Words 7 Pages
Good and evil, a concept that has distracted mankind for countless centuries, and has led to both philosophical, and religious debates worldwide. What can be considered good? What is evil? Are people born good and made into evil? Or are there some beings that are just inherently evil? The concepts get tossed to and fro in every context, with little resolution. In this paper, I will outline how Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde portrays good and evil in a vastly different than that of Frankenstein, and what effects these differences have on the message presented in the novels.

Good is a broad term, and a term that is generally applied to Dr Jekyll to contrast the villainous Mr Hyde, but upon closer scrutiny, what can we say about this so-called virtuous
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He considered the darkness in humanity a separate entity within all of us, all of our wickedness, or greed, our lust, is a separate person within our minds, and he seeks to create a clear difference between the two in physical form. Dr Jekyll is considered a noble man, with a reputation for being of strong moral fiber, and an even man. Adjectives like ‘poor’ and ‘respectable‘ are applied liberally, along with implicit reference to his stature and countenance, he is what his society deems as acceptable. In truth, this is a mirage, for underneath his seemingly acceptable societal veneer, there are stains upon the goodness he represents. His old colleague, Dr Lanyon, remarks “But it is more than ten years since Henry Jekyll became too fanciful for me. He began to go wrong, wrong in mind; and though of course I …show more content…
In the novel, many of the characters have trouble explaining what about Mr Hyde sets them at such an unease. “I set it down to some idiosyncratic, personal distaste, and merely wondered at the acuteness of the symptoms; but I have since had reason to believe the cause to lie much deeper in the nature of man, and to turn on some nobler hinge than the principle of hatred.”(Stevenson, 5.9) Dr Lanyon hints that something visually about Hyde conjures such distaste within him. The author makes it known that compared to Dr Jekyll’s tall, robust form, Hyde is diminished and almost inhumane. This furthers the theme of dehumanization that often accompanies society’s concept of evil, just as in Frankenstein. If humankind can perceive this evil force as something outside of themselves, it makes it easier to hate, to judge, and to harm. The opposite of hideousness was also used in Frankenstein to represent an ideal and serenity that the creature could never own. He often laments these ‘beautiful’ human beings, and extolls the sound and fairness of women’s persons in contrast to his own hideous features. He even begins to equate this attractiveness to goodness, and starts to refer to himself with the same scorn that the persons that reject him heaped. Even when he requests a mate from his creator, he demands his wife be of the same physical unattractiveness as he, for only then does he feel she can

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