Oct 26, 11
“The Mysterious Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson, is about a man named Henry Jekyll who performs experiments in an attempt to separate the dual personalities of good and evil found in every human being. He wishes to give each a separate entity so that they may not conflict. Instead, he unleashes his secondary dark personality within the same body.
Two men. Two polar-opposite personalities. One body. This age-old story is one that most people have heard, but simply didn’t know the details of.
The book follows the account of Mr. Utterson, a lawyer and friend of Dr. Jekyll, as he attempts to uncover the truth about the mysteries surrounding his good friend Henry Jekyll and Jekyll’s mysterious protégé Edward Hyde. Throughout most of the book, both Utterson as well as the reader are left in the dark as to the true identity of Edward Hyde, but by the end of the novel both parties have discovered the truth.
This setup relies on the idea that the reader does not know that Jekyll and Hyde are one and the same. When you know how it will end, you spend most of the book wondering how long it will take for the other characters to figure it out, and it turns out to be quite boring. However, I rather enjoyed re-reading it because I was able to pick out many interesting details that I had missed or forgotten the first time through. It is a nice short and to-the-point novel so it is easy to read and re-read, though it does not go into great detail or griping dialogue, as many longer novels might. Ii personally prefer the longer novels, but “Jekyll and Hyde” was a nice change. However, what the novel lacks in length, it more than makes up for in depth. Stevenson delves deep into the dark subject of the duality of human nature and the temptations for evil that men face as they attempt to live a righteous life.