Victorian Morality

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“The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” a gothic novella by Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1886, is a glimpse back in time to the Victorian era. The novella highlights the Victorian morality and the Victorian model of life. The key features of Victorian morality include a set of moral values pillared in sexual restraints, low tolerance policies on crimes and a strict social code of conduct. Dr. Jekyll is a respected member living in the Victorian society, who abides to all the rules and regulations. Mr. Hyde is his own repressed and animalistic personality, awakened through his wild science experiment, to dissociate the good and evil personalities with the help of a potion. The themes incorporated in the novella …show more content…
Jekyll’ and ‘Mr. Hyde’. Hence, these both parts of the personality are bound together like the two faces of a coin. Henry Jekyll’s Full Statement of the Case is the last chapter in the novella, where Dr. Jekyll clearly explains the ‘strange case’ and reveals his discovery about the good and evil parts present in the human personality. He claims, “With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to that truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two” (Stevenson 2272). So, he wanted to dissociate the good and the evil, in order to completely eliminate the evil side and be purely good for the betterment of …show more content…
Sigmund Freud, who was an Austrian neurologist and the father of psychoanalysis, developed a theory about the human structure of personality. In Freud’s theory, personality consists of three major systems: the id, the ego and the superego. The id, which is present at birth, is the reservoir of unconscious psychological energies and the motives to obtain pleasure or to avoid pain. So, the id would be Mr. Hyde’s personality. The ego, acts as a referee between the basic instincts and the demands of society. It bows to the realities of life, putting a rein on the id’s desire for aggressive instincts, until a suitable, socially acceptable outlet can be found. Thus, the ego would be Dr. Jekyll’s personality before the separation of his personalities. Lastly, the superego (partly conscious, but largely unconscious) is the system that controls the good and the evil actions in the human personality. This is the morality and a voice of the conscious mind telling us to do the right thing. Most of us, would be filled with feelings of pride and satisfaction when we do something good. In a similar way, you would be filled with feelings of shame and guilt, when you break the rules. This system was destroyed or malfunctioned due to Dr. Jekyll’s science experiment, which was an attempt to separate out the good and the evil elements. The

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