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Duality in Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 409
  • Category: Jekyll

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In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Louis Stevenson uses duality to prove the theory that two polar opposites can balance out one another. Generally, human beings are “dual creatures”. Dr. Jekyll explains in his “moral” state “that [he] learned to recognize the thorough and primitive duality of man…even if [he] could rightly be said to be either, it was only because [he] was radically both.” Dr. Jekyll argues there is a more primitive, darker side of every individual. This “darker side” is more animalistic than anything, perhaps it is the vicarious savagery within every human being. During Dr. Jekyll’s mutation to Hyde, he describes it as “natural and human… [the feeling of being Mr. Hyde] seemed more express and single , than the imperfect and divided countenance [he] had been hitherto and accustomed to call [his]… Edward Hyde…was pure evil.” Dr. Jekyll is a socially acceptable individual recognized as a respectable gentleman. On the other hand, Hyde is completely liberated. Hyde appears to personify the pure evil of human nature as a whole. Because of Dr. Jekyll’s control of his emotional desires, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are equally substantial to one another.

A division is not drawn between love and hate in an individual. After Hyde, having “trampled calmly” over a little girl, he speaks in a sincere manner and offers compensation for his acts. Hyde appears to have a self-loving attitude. He dedicates himself to egotistic desires- violence and savagery- in a sense, fulfilling his need for both love and hate. Because Dr. Jekyll still attains memory of Hyde’s erroneous actions, like that of trampling the little girl, he responds to both emotions of love and hate, since he is in his state of normality. Only, Dr. Jekyll appears to be more subdued about his passions, desires, and emotions. Dr. Jekyll does this to conform to society so he is not at risk of losing his high social status. Although Hyde is more liberating, while Dr. Jekyll is more moderate, this allows the two binary opposites of love and hate to be balanced equivalently.

Stevenson reveals that two opposing contenders need counterbalancing in order for equivalency to occur. Man is created to be of “dual creatures”, as well as love and hate is two binary opposites. Because of the sense of control Dr. Jekyll has, and because of Hyde’s erratic behavior, this allows balance to take place amongst each individual of Dr. Jekyll.

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