Davis's Reviews > The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Tales of Terror

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Tales o... by Robert Louis Stevenson
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Apr 09, 12

Read on April 09, 2012

"All human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil." A classic for a reason, still providing insight into humanity through its Victorian lens. Much different than I was initially expecting; the story is built around Mr. Utterson and the mystery of who Mr. Hyde is. Lots of excellent Victorian sensibilities that are deconstructing and examined honestly through Jekyll's transformation, and what that means about all people in general. The destructive sides of isolation, duality (of course), self-sustainability, and the attempt to control evil are present throughout. All the characters in this book are single white males, and all struggle with the idea of what Mr. Hyde really is, perhaps because the darker side of man is all too close to home. The descriptions of foggy England pervade the piece and provide an excellent backdrop for the cloudy lives lived away from the public. This is not a book about good vs. evil, but the good and evil in all us vs. pure evil. Should our evil side be indulged to keep it at bay, or will that indulgence make it grow and overcome us? Is Dr. Jekyll an abomination, or is he simply a display of what we all struggle with, as an "ordinary secret sinner"? Is evil needed to be human? The struggle within all of us with the good and evil is best summed up by Jekyll's own words: "And it fell out with me, as it falls with so vast a majority of my fellows, that I chose the better part and was found wanting in the strength to keep to it."
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