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Sympathy in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 400
  • Category: Morality

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The story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has been read and critiqued for 127 years. One of the most debatable aspects of the story is the identity of the two men, while at the end of the book you can clearly tell the two men share one body, the immorality of Mr. Hyde differs immensely from that of Dr. Jekyll who participates in charity work and has an upstanding role in society. Mr. Hyde creates a great amount of sympathy in the book.

The first feelings of sympathy come within the first chapter. You feel sympathy for the young girl that Mr. Hyde tramples in the middle of the street for no apparent reason at all. The reason the sympathy is felt is because Mr. Hyde feels no remorse for what he did. “I am naturally helpless. No gentleman but wishes to avoid a scene.” (Stevenson 41) Mr. Hyde does not wish to apologize but to not cause a scene. “Name your figure.” (Stevenson 41) Mr. Hyde, in order to avoid a scene, offers to pay the little girls family to keep them quiet. Sympathy is felt for the little girl because he does show that he feels sorry for his wrongdoing or immoral act, he simply pays other people to ignore it. A great deal of sympathy is felt for Dr. Jekyll because he becomes a shut in with a severe lack of sleep because Mr. Hyde likes to take over when hes sleeping.

Mr. Hyde likes to engage in many illegal activities, once even committing murder on a member of Parliament, and sexual encounters. Dr. Jekyll is a moral and decent man, not without his fair share of discrepancies, but he would not act as crudely as Mr. Hyde. A bit of sadness is felt for Dr. Jekyll because he can not control when Hyde takes over anymore. “I was slowly losing hold of my original and better self, and becoming slowly incorporated with my second and worse.” (Stevenson 114) Dr. Jekyll fears that he is slowly losing himself and becoming Hyde. In conclusion, a fair amount of sympathy is felt in this classic. Mr. Hyde is a character of great moral ineptitude and is very contrasting with Dr. Jekyll. The many acts of crime and sexual exploits make you feel very compassionate and empathetic toward the common people Hr. Hyde causes distress.

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