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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hude

Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson had a literary career that lasted the better part of twenty years.  His writing varied from essays, biographies, travel writing, poetry, plays, romances, short stories and novels.

He’s ranked among the 26 most translated authors in the world.  His most well known works include “Treasure Island” (1883) and the “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” (1886).

A disquieting tale of its time, it lays out the duality that’s perhaps inherent in all human beings.  Dr. Jekyll explores the evil side of human nature and how one is perceived by others.

Unsatisfied with the daily façade that he performs as a matter of course, Dr. Jekyll’s experimentation leads to chilling and heinous results in the form of Mr. Hyde.

The story has been illustrated in many plays and films but few match the quality of writing which makes the reader think about appearances versus reality.

Can good be completely separated from evil?  Is this kind of self-experimentation a valid scientific endeavour?

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  • Jo July 31, 2014, 10:16 pm

    The main focus seems to be on Jekyll and Hyde and rightly so but what’s also interesting is the handful of characters that relate the story in their own way. Through their accounts, you get the sense that things are pretty much right and thus acceptable within the norms of society or wrong and therefore improper and questionable. But not everything is so cut and dry and Jekyll’s questioning and seeking explores the grey areas spectacularly.

  • Jane July 31, 2014, 9:04 pm

    The idea that’s made an impression on me is that Jekyll and Hyde are not separate entities but rather Jekyll contains Hyde. That is, until Hyde grows so powerful that he obliterates Jekyll. A lot of analogies can be thought of to express this, but hats off to Stevenson for being so imaginative and original and writing a story that transcends time.

  • Steve July 31, 2014, 11:41 am

    The brain is a curious thing. It strives to learn more yet in the process it can destroy itself. This classic covers the entire path from curiosity, to experimentation, to addiction, to fear, to irreversible damage. I found it quite interesting from a psychological point of view and the dilemmas faced.

  • Kate July 30, 2014, 8:00 pm

    Are there ethical ways and means to separate good from evil, to enhance either the good or evil part? Even if there are, what are the moral dilemmas and implications and should we mess that much with mother nature?

    Questions that have been asked over the centuries and ones that we’re still dealing with today. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a perfect example of this dilemma and shows what can happen in extreme cases, if you let it.

  • Marly July 30, 2014, 3:56 pm

    The mad scientist at his best! Boredom, tired of doing and being what’s expected, experimentation comes into play but of a dangerous sort as we all know. When the experiment goes awry and out of control, the end is near. Although the outcome is expected, what interested me most was the reason why he started experimenting in the first place.

  • Alex July 30, 2014, 1:26 pm

    Having seen various film adaptations over the years, you think you have a grip on the story. Now, after finally reading the book, I’ve gotten a truer perspective into the turmoil that Dr. Jekyll goes through. Firms up my belief that you always get more out of the book than the movie.