02 Oct 2009

Essays on Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a book about a scientist who makes a formula that turns him into a monstrous murderer.  The story begins with Gabriel John Utterson, an attorney, learning about a horrendous assault which killed a young girl.  Utterson is led by circumstances to begin investigating, leading him to a past client, Dr. Jekyll.  Utterson learns about Jekyll’s research and is horrified by the implications.  He pleads with Jekyll to stop, but Dr. Jekyll begins to fall deeper into the monstrous research that he has begun and no longer tries to stop the horror that Mr. Hyde brings on.

The novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was written by Robert Lewis Stevenson. Mr. Stevenson was a master of the Victorian adventure story.  The story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide was almost a recap of the anxiety that he had to go through during his childhood due to his illnesses.  Though his life was hard due to the sickly respiratory problems that he had growing up, he began to show the world that no matter what one can succeed.  Two of Stevenson’s other well known and loved books were Treasure Island and Kidnapped.

The Character relationships in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are primarily between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide themselves, even if they were the same person in a sense.  The protagonist of the novel, Mr. Gabriel John Utterson was Dr. Jekyll’s attorney prior to the events of the novel.  His concerns regarding the events surrounding Dr. Jekyll’s work prompts him to bring in another character, Dr. Lanyon, with whom Dr. Jekyll had a serious dispute over the questionable ethics of Dr. Jekyll’s work.  Mr. Utterson’s inability to deal with the supernatural caused him to bring in Dr. Lanyon.

Themes within Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde revolve around the fears of science gone rampant and the ethics needed to regulate it.  In a way, Utterson’s opposition to Dr. Jekyll’s continued research may have been symbolic of the idea that only the law can enforce ethics, though today we know this is not entirely true.  Ethics also plays a part in the questionable act of the young girl’s family accepting Dr. Jekyll’s payoff, reflected by our modern tendency to do the same.  Newspapers in recent years carried many headlines regarding the payoff of an alleged victim by Michael Jackson.

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