A study in dualism: The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Many people know the tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at its most basic level; The book is mostly told by a lawyer with the name of Mr. Utterson who UTTERS his suspicions about this Hyde and his relation to Jekyll. At the end of the book, Jekyll gives his accounts of the lies and . (): – The Essential Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. New York: Plume/Penguin USA. Wiebe = Joshua Wiebe (). "These Films Sleep Well: Le Testament du Docteur. Movie Review: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (). Stars: 1 out of 5. Pros: It wasn't a miniseries. Cons: Nothing works right in this film. The Bottom.
Stevenson's respectable physician Henry Jekyll appears to have had a similar desire, though his appeal was not to the deity but the pharmaceutical cabinet, with disastrous results. It was Stevenson's response to a request from the publisher Charles Longman for a ghost story for the Christmas number of Longman's Magazine, in which he gave readers a taste of his best authors.
The legend put about by RLS's stepson Lloyd Osbourne has it that he wrote a draft in three days, after being awakened from a dream, then threw it into the fire when his wife Fanny, Lloyd's mother, complained that he had "missed the allegory". After a brief period of reflection, Stevenson wrote it all out again, "in another three days of feverish industry". Lloyd was a charming teller of tales about his stepfather, but not a reliable one.
Letters make it plain that Stevenson spent at least six weeks on the revision. And even if an early version really was burned - "imagine my feelings as we saw those precious pages wrinkling and blackening and turning into flames", Lloyd wrote - there still exist two full drafts of the novella. Fanny, however, was right to stress the importance of the missing element.
It clearly is an allegory: But an allegory of what? Stevenson's mother Margaret, who lived for three years after the death of her son in Samoa inwas touched to learn that the story had been interpreted by a Church of Scotland minister as a parable on the wages of sin, and preached as a sermon from the pulpit.
A study in dualism: The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Stevenson's first biographer, Graham Balfourtells us that it was also "made the subject of leading articles in religious newspapers". Stevenson might have smiled indulgently at his acceptance by the kirk many years after he had fallen out with his father over fundamental religious differences, but he would have disapproved of the simplistic reading of his story as a lesson on the perils of straying from the path of righteousness.
An equally common Victorian reading of the story was as a moral tale on the horrors of the sexual appetite unleashed.
This aspect was emphasised in early theatrical adaptations, of which there were several in the decade after publication they included Dr Freckle and Mr Snide at Dockstader's Minstrel Hall, New York, in The most popular was the one starring Richard Mansfield, which was up and running a year after the appearance of the book and continued, on one side of the Atlantic and then the other, into the next century.
In adapting the novella for the stage, Thomas R Sullivan was obliged to negotiate an inconvenient absence in the original text: Sullivan therefore presented Mansfield with Agnes Carew as the object of Jekyll's affection - a dramatic invention indeed, since it is her father, Sir Danvers Carew, who is the most prominent victim of Hyde's violence. In a rival production, which opened in London two days after Mansfield's but was closed down by Longman in a dispute over performance rights, love interest was provided by Sybil Howell, the daughter of a clergyman who is himself an adapter's fancy.
The script of a film version, directed by Rouben Mamoulian, had a barmaid called Ivy performing a striptease in front of Jekyll.
In an interview reprinted in the invaluable Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Companion, edited by Harry M Geduld, Mamoulian described the scene, which was cut from the finished movie: Hyde, his hidden self, was brought into existence to give him licence to do so. Stevenson deplored the attempts to plumb his divided hero's psychology in the various theatrical productions.
In a private letter to the editor of the New York Sun inwritten from the Adirondacks, where he had gone for the sake of his health, he dismissed Mansfield's portrayal as an offshoot of modern society.
Hyde, Stevenson insisted, "is no more sexual than another". He was certainly not, "Great Gods!
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Elementary Freudianism sees Jekyll as embodying the ego rationalHyde the id instinctive. Jekyll has been seen as a drunk, a drug addict, a pederast, a closet homosexual. In an excellent introduction to the Edinburgh University Press edition of the novella, Richard Dury ranges over a variety of possible readings, noting that of several "socially condemned activities" that Hyde is associated with, "veiled allusions to homosexuality are particularly frequent".
The double life of Jekyll and Hyde can be seen as parallel to "the necessarily double life of the Victorian homosexual". Even though Stevenson may not have intended leaving them, there are suggestive markers throughout the text: The hidden door by which he enters Jekyll's house is the "back way", even "the back passage".
Robert Louis Stevenson film versions of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde
One half overrides the other and takes control, but does not completely eradicate it. Jekyll is inside Hyde. No longer in control of the physical transformation, his outward show of respectability is faltering. It is possible to read these lines as a realisation that the animistic internal force of Edward Hyde is too powerful and will soon take over.
Leibniz was tempted to conceive the petit perceptions [unconscious ideas] as ideas of too low an intensity to affect consciousness. Myths of Science and Progress Dr. Hyde provides a critique of Victorian beliefs in science and progress through an examination of what it is to be civilised. This examination leads Stevenson to consider the notion of a separation between internal drives and external displays, demonstrating a duality which he shows as manifest in both the physical world of the novella and the psychological spaces of his characters.
The place of religion as a counterbalance to the scientific driving force of the narrative, serves as a reminder of what is lost in the name of progress.
Jekyll has been living is critical of the claims to respectability commonly made by the higher classes. Upon beginning to suspect the possibility of a connection between Dr.
Jekyll and the potentially unfavourable Mr.
The beast within
This episode can, according to L. This sensibility extends even to the narrator. Silence, then, is presented as a shield employed by people of a certain class to protect from salacious gossip. In universalising the experience of the modern, Stevenson shows ideas of social progress to be as false as those of respectability.
The semantic network surrounding Hyde is by turns demonic, animalistic, and criminal. As a product of degenerative evolution, Hyde is an example of primeval humanity, a living reminder of the evolutionary process and therefore a threat to notions of civility and cultural development.
Recognising this, the other characters in the novella would seek to destroy him. Developments in thinking about psychology at this time seemed to be making the private much more public, and as such the affectations adopted by the cultured were becoming destabilised as a distinguishing feature between classes.
Adaptations of Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Wikipedia
In addition to this, contemporary evolutionist Francis Galton, was becoming well known for his study of the faces of criminals. His goal being to try and identify specifically criminal characteristics. The implications of this kind of study for society would have been serious; the mask of civility would no longer be a viable disguise.