Multiple personalities also alternataively known as split personality is a common disorder that makes people act differently depending on their environments. Both Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde have developed various beliefs about the condition in the strange narrative with the aim to make people understand what the disorder is all about. In their strange description, the two persons have well illustrated just how a person with multiple personalities transforms from one character to a new one without a conscience. The novel is well played to give the reader a fine understanding of how people with split personalities act in regards to their environments and other factors that affect their behaviors. This essay will discuss how Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde have reflected the issue of split personality in the novel The Strange Case and give depth details with close reference to their narrative.
As the name The Strange Case suggests, persons with dissociative identity tend to showcase different personalities at any given time. The strange fact about this condition is that a person in a new personality does not recall his or her previous one. Imagine a person that has been acting as a religious leader before transforming into a corrupt person without even noticing the strange change. That is the case that typically occurs with people that have multiple personalities. The dazzling fact is that the individuals are unaware of their strange changes.
The disorder has numerous symptoms that match other conditions such as Schizophrenia, and one is likely to develop sudden feelings of anger. The Strange Case is a well-respected novel in the world of narratives due to its unique features such as dualism. In the book, Mr.Hyde makes sentiments to the evil spirits within his soul by engaging in numerous despicable actions (Singh & Chakrabarti, pg.1). He is scared of doing so publicly because he is not ready to face social criticism from irritated people in the society. After various attempts, Hyde succeeds in making a concoction that later frees him from the evil in his soul and transforms into a good person, Henry Jekyll.
Mr.Hyde is a bad person who is controlled by evil spirits and engages in bad deeds such as rejecting visitors. Initially, Hyde was uncaring and self-indulged. He only cared about things that could benefit him in one or two ways rather than doing things for the benefit of his fellow humans. One can only imagine a doctor who is self-indulged; probably, many patients will have to suffer when he or she denies them essential services because they are of no benefit to him. He transforms himself into a kind of a monster that is not recognizable and enjoys watching bad things happen. He acts of unspecified urges that are unlikely for a person as old as him and with a social standing in the famous Victorian London (Padnick, pg.1). He is a kind of a person who enjoys violence and sex; this is quite shocking because doctors are expected to dislike anything that puts the life of a person in danger. Most probably, he has even attended to various patients suffering from wounds that are inflicted during a violent incidence. However, Hyde goes ahead to portray his excitement from pain. Torture is considered as an inhumane act that lowers the dignity of the victims; hence, it is a practice that no one should derive pleasure from. Surprisingly, he makes a concoction that will free him not from doing evil deeds but to relieve him from feeling guilty whenever he does something inhumane.
Hyde's addiction to evil actions is visible in many aspects; the psychological addiction to do things regardless of the adverse outcomes does not deter him from doing them. The concoction does well for him because he does not feel guilty for his evil deeds; after all, he does not suffer from his actions, and the victims are unworthy before his eyes. According to Marabarreiro, the concoction is associated with the release of pleasure-inducing endorphins and a cycle that is similar to a mental habit (pg.1). Alternatively, Hyde can choose to stop doing bad things and will no longer have to deal with the feelings of guilt. He can transform into a better person if at all he has any intentions to stop engaging in bad acts that put him on the edge of guilty feelings. Note that the name Hyde means a sinful manifestation about Dr.Jerkylls personality and he surely lives up to it by committing atrocious acts throughout the book.
In the reflection of multiple personalities in The Strange Case, it is evident that Edward Hyde is a bad personality while Henry Jekyll is the good person. Robert Louis Stevenson did an excellent job by showing clear differences between the two persons that belong to the same character in his novel. Hyde loves doing wrong things and has no respect for the society; on the other hand, Dr.Jekyll is well-respected due to his noble character and the excellent services that he delivers to his patients. This is a smooth transition of two different characters that are extremely different, and it seems impossible for one to balance the two. Dr.Jekyll is a prominent physician in London; he has good looks, distinguished, and commands a lot of respect from his fellow professionals (Padnick, pg.1). However, he has alienated some of his close friends with the aim of keeping his dual personalities from exposure. This means that he is aware of both his good and bad sides and does something about it. He switches between the two personalities at his free will, and this depends on the kind of environment that he is. When in good moods, he remains as Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde during bad moments.
Doctor Hastie Lanyon, one of Jekyll's friends, uncovers a lot of evil within Jekyll and chooses to unfriend him. He is seemingly shocked by how much evil one can bear within his soul and act as if everything is okay. Jekyll and Hyde transform without a conscience despite the vast difference between the two personalities. Often, a person can have feelings of guilt after engaging in things that are considered evil in the society. It is not okay to serve two masters at the same time because one will get exhausted and forced to drop one. The same case applies to Hyde/Jekyll, he either remains as a right person or chose to be evil. We see him been evil throughout the novel and only acts as a good doctor in a few incidences. In chapter nine, Jekyll confesses that the need for him to have a second personality is derived from the need to explore certain things that his moral values would not allow him. Jekylls addiction to Hyde goes deep within the concoction that he uses to induce the instant change; his second personality enables him to fight loneliness and to have a perverse pleasure in Hydes evil life (Marabarreiro, pg.1). The change of character comes as a result of the need to hide from the society when he engages in things that the people will not approve.
From the findings above, it is evident that there are many differences between Jekyll and Hyde. First, Jekyll is caring while Hyde is entirely the opposite; the fact that Jekyll cherished his friend Mr.Utterson shows that he is passionate about other people in the society. This is a clear manifestation that dualism is real in the book and the author, Stevenson has well-incorporated it to fit the context. Hyde is viewed as a scary and terrifying person due to his evil traits such as viciousness and cruelty. In simplest description, he is is the embodiment of evilness and the evil version of Dr. Henry Jekyll. According to Stevenson, Hydes appearance is always remembered because people get terrified just by seeing him. His image is haunting and difficult to wash away because he looks like an unrecognizable monster.
At the beginning of the story, Stevenson tells us that the character in question (Henry Jekyll) had a good start to his career. Henry was a generous person with the best interests of other people in his heart (Stevenson & Luckhusrt, pg4). However, things began to change as he became older and began to ruin his honorable reputation. From being a noble person, Jekyll developed the love for evil things in the society. He loved violence, sex, and torture and the pleasure that he derived from such incidences made his close friends withdraw from him. In as much as he tried to conceal his darker self (Hyde), he found it difficult to deal with the shame of doing bad things that doctors should not do. The author of The Strange Case decides to ignore the details of the anatomical effect of dualism with the aim of making the readers believe that split personality is real. He does not allow Jekyll to reveal the truth about himself so as to make the readers curious to uncover the evil side of him. This tactic is aimed at creating confusion; Jekyll is secretive and reserved hence making the reader create sensory imaginations about the second bad character, Edward Hyde.
Conclusively, the dual personality is well-reflected in The Strange Case, and Stevenson has well incorporated the differences between the personalities of Jekyll and Hyde. Henry Jekyll is the good version of Edward Hyde who is considered as an unrecognizable monster. Jekyll is respected and emulated by many persons in his professions including Mr.Utterson while Hyde is feared by many. Hyde is the most memorable character due to his evil traits that leave a bad mark whenever he sets foot. In simplest description, he is the embodiment of evilness and the evil version of Dr. Henry Jekyll. He loved violence, sex, and torture and the pleasure that he derived from such incidences made his close friends withdraw from him. Thus, dualism is real and is evident throughout the novel due to the many significant roles played by Jekyll and Hyde. Note that the both personalities belong to the same person.
Singh, Shubh M., and Ho Chakrabarti. "A study in dualism: The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde." National Library of Medicine (2008 Jul-Sep): 1. <10.4103/0019-5545.43624>.
MaraBarreiro. "Jekyll's Addiction to Evil." Sentohill (2009): 1.
Padnick, Steven. "What Everybody Gets Wrong About Jekyll and Hyde." Torrent (2012):1.
Stevenson, Robert Louis, and Roger Luckhurst. The Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and other tales. Oxford: Oxford U Press, 2008.
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