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 of Terror discussion

Embracing your "dark" side

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message 1: by Angie (last edited Nov 05, 2011 03:35PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie I think that if Dr. Jekyll had accepted his other self, Mr Hyde, he would have gained the control over his transformation.

This is part of one self, when your "dark" side becomes much stronger because you reject it and denied it.

What do you think?

Alexis I half agree. I think he should have been able to accept his dark side, and continue to keep it in check. But if he did that, this book wouldn't really reflect the values of the 1800s, now would it? :P

message 3: by Annie (new)

Annie Quick question: Have you seen the play version of this short story? I have and completely recommend it.

I have read and loved this short story. I think that if Dr. Jekyll had accepted Mr. Hyde he would have lived.

When thinking about this story I can't help but think of the Native American proverb about two wolves: "An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."'

Any thoughts?

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

If you accept Mr. Hyde, wouldn't you be in effect "feeding" him? And if you don't feed him, what's to stop him from rebelling out of pure hunger? This sounds like one hell of a ballanceing act.

message 5: by Annie (new)

Annie I know! But what if Dr. Jekyll had been able to see that he had this dark side of himself and understand that he has potential of doing horrible things like everyone else in the world. By realizating this he is in a way "accepting" that the darkness is a part of him like everyone else. (that's what I meant by accepting).

And you are right it is a major balancing act that I believe everyone goes through everyday. For example: should I buy this sandwich or steal it?

However for the time period that the short story was written in I don't think that he could've accepted that part of himself because of their morals of the time.

Alicia I have to agree with Annie and I love the proverb. I think it explains it well. I can't help but feel a little sorry for Dr. Jekyll. The society he lived in didn't allow him to accept his own duality. Everyone has duality in them and, no matter the time period, not accepting that duality is bound to rip a person apart.

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

What the Victorians didn’t understand, and most of us still don’t, is that both these characters needed each other to exist. Without Dr. Jekyll morality, Hyde’s profanity would not exist, and vice versa. “Without darkness, nothing comes to birth; as without light, nothing flowers.” The technical term for it is “duel-dependence-coexistence”. Am I making any sense?

message 8: by Angie (last edited Dec 02, 2011 05:21AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie Something similar happens in daily life. In society, it is taught in thinking about others' necessities before yours, being unselfish and always do good things.

However this teaching can become counterproductive if you don't make a balance between what you have to do as a member of a society and what really makes you happy.

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

You are no good to society if you neglect yourself.

Jukang Liwayway he did accept his dark side at first, but as explained, Hyde is pure evil whereas Jekyll is still human (still with conflicting moralities)... it was explained that while Jekyll thrived on the freedom Hyde's recklessness and disregard for rules and morality entitled, Hyde on the other hand isnt dependent on Jekyll's existence (except for the fact that if jekyll dies, hyde dies too).. Jekyll needed Hyde because as any human beings, that sense of dark power is seductive.

and he did accept Hyde's nature, which is why he has let all those horrible things go on like that for a while, thinking that it is normal to have a dark side or that what Hyde did isn't as horrible as he soon came to realize.. He even compensated by doing good acts when he is Jekyll..

he only tried to "control" Hyde when he realized that Hyde is starting to get stronger, transforming without his control, and realizing that the darkness of his Hyde side is a bottomless pit which Jekyll is slowly falling into, never to come back if he let Hyde wins.

message 11: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Darling sorry, hate to disagree, but Hyde is also the product of a loss of control. No matter what someone thinks about their darker impulses, control is vitally important. If not, then we should just accept all the stupid stuff folks do when they're drunk ... or in Jekyll's case, on his homemade stash. Sorry, but inhibitions do serve an important and valuable purpose.

message 12: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Darling oh, and yes, Heart of Darkness is a valid comparison

message 13: by Doug (new) - rated it 4 stars

Doug Christi Annie wrote: "Quick question: Have you seen the play version of this short story? I have and completely recommend it.

I have read and loved this short story. I think that if Dr. Jekyll had accepted Mr. Hyde he..."

The observation and comparison to the Cherokee proverb is perfect. Mr. Hyde was a metaphor for the temptation we all carry, that which can turn a good person into something more tragic. But you forgot one thing--it is much easier to feed the evil wolf, the good one takes much more effort, (but yields much more reward). Our society is too focused on the instant gratification which "Mr. Hyde" offers in abundance.

message 14: by Gregory (last edited Sep 04, 2012 10:38AM) (new)

Gregory Rothbard Andries wrote: "You are no good to society if you neglect yourself."

But what if that self is bad, then to pay attention to selfish needs is to propagate horror in our universe. Also this tale is one of cooping with addiction? He thinks that the potion at first will help him, but then he starts to abuse it by using more and more of the potion. Similar to those addicted to prescription medication and abusing the amounts prescribed. Before long, you are in a world of hurt, with very little chance of an exit on your own terms.

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