Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Throughout the short story ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, the author Robert Stevenson portrays a mythical example of the duality of man, and the extents that can be gone to in order to hide truth. The story presents a classic case of good vs. evil, and shows that although all people contain capacities for good and evil, at the end of the day it’s the decisions a person makes that portray them as a “good” or “bad” person.
Reputation was everything in the late 19th century setting this book takes place in, and opens with an example of a man who is seen by the public as extremely well respected, yet has some sort of an alternative side to him where he likes to meddle in what is seen as dark.

“But he had an approved tolerance for others; sometimes wondering, almost with envy, at the high pressure of spirits involved in their misdeeds; and in any extremity inclined to help rather than to reprove. “I incline to Cain’s heresy,” he used to say quaintly: “I let my brother go to the devil in his own way.”

“If he be Mr. Hyde,” he had thought, “I shall be Mr. Seek.”

These quotes, from Chapter 1 and 2 of Jr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, show Utterson’s pure curiosity towards darkness, even though he is seen as “pure” and well respected in society. This can be compared to society today, where people who have good standing in society sometimes love to meddle in things they aren’t supposed to, starting drama and spreading rumors. This is a large problem in today’s world, leading to misinformation and general distrust in society.

2 thoughts on “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”

  1. Nice work! I really like the idea of reputation in this time period. I think it speaks a lot to many of the readings we have had in class thus far, especially in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The idea that Dr. Jekyll is a well-repsected man in society, but his temptations of how he truly wants to act is what led to Mr. Hyde is compelling, and I think it speaks to many of our other readings.

  2. I like that you touched on the fact that “reputation was everything” in this era. Reputation ties into the whole Jekyll and Hyde situation, where everybody wants their reputation to be pure and without flaws, and meanwhile we have a character that has flaws and surely isn’t pure in the traditional or religious sense of the word. I also like how you connected this concept of reputation to today’s world, where it can be said to be”leading to misinformation and general distrust in society,” as you said. Overall I really enjoyed this post.

Comments are closed.