Graphology: There Are Not, in Fact, Two Wolves Inside of You

Dear Reader,

Graphology is the science of handwriting and while it is now disproven as a pseudo-science it was a very popular idea until quite recently. Furthermore, the author’s use of physiognomy throughout the novel it is no great leap to then assert that he in all likelihood would believe in graphology and he would not describe the handwriting of a character without great care and attention. Therefore, I deposit that in the very text of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Dr. Jekyll’s, quite frankly preposterous, that there are two halves of us, one good and one evil, that idea is disproven.

In Incident of The Letter Mr. Utterson by way of Mr. Guest, compares the handwritings of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The language which the author uses in this section would be quite singular if the author did not believe in graphology. Mr. Utterson descries Mr. Guest as “a great student and critic of handwriting,” (Stevenson PG) Mr. Utterson’s says of the letter from Mr. Hyde that it is “a murderer’s autograph,” (Stevenson PG) and the fervor with which Mr. Guest pours over the letters all lend further credence to my theory that the author subscribed to graphology.

While it may be known that I am a great writer, it is lesser known that I am a mind reader. I can hear you thinking, “Red, that was a use of textual evidence which is so beautiful that it may rival your own gorgeous charms and while I am fully convinced that the author believed in graphology, I don’t yet see what’s interesting reveling or strange in this fact?”

The fact that the handwriting remains nearly identical with only the slope changing is a clear statement that the characters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are also nearly identical. The only difference between the two handwritings being the slope is intriguing as modern handwriting analysis suggests that the slope indicates someone’s emotional state. (Prachi 42) While I wasn’t able to find any graphology literature from Stevenson’s era and I would not wish to apply any of today’s graphology to Stevenson’s writing, I think that the fact that merely one facet is different is extremely telling.

If only one facet of you has to change for you to become a person who kicks little girls over in the street and murders men, then you were never all that great to begin with.

Also, what kind of psycho spends a decade, or at the very least several years judging by the “several hundred entries” (Stevenson PG) in Jekyll’s journal, trying to concoct a serum which turns you into the kind of person who hurts people? 

This point about graphology is all just a long way of me saying that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are the same person in every respect except for their willingness to show their depravity.

Yours with only one wolf inside of her,

Carmine “Red” Zingiber

Joshi, Prachi, et al. “Handwriting analysis for detection of personality traits using machine learning approach.” International Journal of Computer Applications, vol. 130, no. 15, Nov. 2015, pp. 40–45, https://doi.org/10.5120/ijca2015907189.

One thought on “Graphology: There Are Not, in Fact, Two Wolves Inside of You”

  1. In answer to your question in the second to last paragraph, and in conjunction with your larger point that Jekyll and Hyde are the same, the person who spends at least ten years on this experiment is someone who is fully convinced of the accuracy of Victorian social expectations. This is the rot that the obsession with dualities comes from: if someone can’t fit in this box we made, obviously there’s actually two of them, the good one that fits and the evil part that doesn’t.
    We are never told what it is that Jekyll desires to do, just that it is frowned upon. Jekyll could look at himself as someone who is whole, but instead, due to the pressure of his surroundings, tries to figure out a way to cut himself in half. Even the creation of Hyde does not disavow him of this idea, as he says in his note that if he had only thought better, he would have created a wholly ‘good’ man who fits than a wholly ‘evil’ one.
    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde explores the idea of the duality of man, and at least in my view, explores how a belief in it will lead you to tear yourself apart.

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