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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Class 26 March 2012 Repression and Appearances in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Some people hate themselves; some hate their societies; while some hate both. In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson describes Dr. Jekyll who hated himself and his society…
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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Download file to see previous pages... He lives life like a trapped bird, because society expects him to be good in actions and attitudes. Dr. Jekyll chooses to be a good person, the perfect Victorian model that Evangelicals are proud of. Inside, however, he battles his Id that he has contained too much. He does not give in to his selfish desires, such as by doing philanthropic work, and as a consequence, his subconscious learns to love selfish and lethal desires. Soon, his appearance gives way to the inner self. The inner self, when it breaks free, becomes wild and strong. Dr. Jekyll turns to Mr. Hyde, the full expression of his innermost desires. This paper shows that when the inner self is fully imprisoned though appearance, it will be repressed, but not forever; and when it is released, it will destroy the humanity of a person. Wendy Perkins, in “Critical Essay on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” examines the role of the ideologies, utilitarianism and Evangelicalism, in shaping Victorian England during the nineteenth century. These ideologies opposed each other and affected the context of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Perkins stress that these ideologies forced people to choose between being hedonistic and being moral, which are both extremes that do not do the soul and identity any good at all. She argues that through this novel, Robert Louis Stevenson criticizes Victorian society. Dr. Jekyll would not have created an evil alter ego, Mr. Hyde, if he had enough channels to express his “desires.” Perkins uses the characters of Utterson and Enfield to describe what norms should be during Victorian times. Utterson represents the “human side that refuses to condemn others.” Perkins is saying that if people did not focus on being good alone, then freedom of expression has been more tolerated, if not widely promoted. Enfield has the “same temperament as Utterson.” He stands for moderation in attitudes and behaviors. Utterson and Enfield shame Evangelicals and utilitarians who focus on their own goals and values. These characters are examples of tolerance and moderation that utilitarianism and Evangelicalism lacked. Perkins argues that society has made it harder for people to balance their conflicting desires. Utilitarianism justifies the creation of Mr. Hyde, since he enables Dr. Jekyll to fully express his desires, even evil ones. Utilitarianism says that it is right to pursue pleasure and eliminate pain. Mr. Hyde provides pleasure, though not in the normal kind. He makes Dr. Jekyll feel free to be whoever he wants to be. Dr. Jekyll also uses the “duplicity” of his characters to balance his conflicting urges and norms. Evangelicalism, however, compels Dr. Jekyll to kill himself, since he can no longer control Mr. Hyde. As a result, the ending satisfies Victorian norms. In the end, Dr. purifies the world from the existence of a malignant tumor like Mr. Hyde. Perkins stresses that utilitarianism and Evangelicalism are two extreme ideologies that pushed Dr. Jekyll to create Mr. Hyde. These ideologies do not promote sobriety and do not help people balance their different needs and interests. Perkins emphasizes that it is important for people to have a sense of balance in their lives, or else, they will also produce their Mr. Hyde, who cannot be controlled anymore. In “The Prisonhouse of my Disposition,” Daniel Wright explores that duplicity is not the main goal of Dr. Jekyll. He contends that such analyses are superficial and incomplete. He presents a psychological view of the novel, where the double ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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