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Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde

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Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The work is commonly known today as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, or simply Jekyll & Hyde. It is about a London lawyer named John Gabriel Utterson who investigates Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The work is commonly known today as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, or simply Jekyll & Hyde. It is about a London lawyer named John Gabriel Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde.


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Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The work is commonly known today as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, or simply Jekyll & Hyde. It is about a London lawyer named John Gabriel Utterson who investigates Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The work is commonly known today as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, or simply Jekyll & Hyde. It is about a London lawyer named John Gabriel Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde.

30 review for Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”It came about that Edward Hyde was so much smaller, slighter, and younger than Henry Jekyll. Even as good shone upon the countenance of the one, evil was written broadly and plainly on the face of the other. Evil besides (which I must still believe to be the lethal side of man) had left on that body an imprint of deformity and decay. And yet when I looked upon that ugly idol in the glass, I was conscious of no repugnance rather of a leap of welcome. This too, was myself.” Richard Mansfield was ”It came about that Edward Hyde was so much smaller, slighter, and younger than Henry Jekyll. Even as good shone upon the countenance of the one, evil was written broadly and plainly on the face of the other. Evil besides (which I must still believe to be the lethal side of man) had left on that body an imprint of deformity and decay. And yet when I looked upon that ugly idol in the glass, I was conscious of no repugnance rather of a leap of welcome. This too, was myself.” Richard Mansfield was mostly known for his dual role depicted in this double exposure. The stage adaptation opened in London in 1887, a year after the publication of the novella. (Picture 1895). Dr. Henry Jekyll is a brilliant man who in the course of trying to understand the human psyche has turned himself, with tragic results, into a guinea pig for his experiments. He has unleashed a power from within that is turning out to be too formidable to be properly contained. This book was released in 1886 and at first none of the bookshop wanted to carry the book because of the subject matter, but a positive review had people flocking to the stores to read this sinister tale of hubris overcoming reason. The American first edition is the true first edition because it preceded the London edition by three days The timing was perfect for releasing such a tale. The Victorian society was struggling with the morality that had been imposed upon them by the previous generation. They were embracing vice. Many men of means living in London now found themselves hearing the siren song of pleasures available on the East End. They could be as naughty as they wanted and safely leave their depravity on that side of town before they return to the respectable bosom of their family and careers. They were struggling with the dual natures of their existences. The thunder of the church and the faces of their sweet families made them feel guilty for their need to drink gin in decrepit pubs, smoke opiates in dens of inequity, consort with underage whores, and run the very real risk of being robbed by cutthroats. This walk on the wild side also allowed them the privilege of feeling completely superior to all those beings providing their means of entertainment. Jekyll as it turns out is no different. He relishes the adventures of his other persona even as he feels the mounting horror of losing control of this other self he calls Mr. Edward Hyde. Furthermore, his creation has no loyalty. ”My two natures had memory in common, but all other faculties were most unequally shared between them. Jekyll (who was composite) now with the most sensitive apprehensions, now with a greedy gusto, projected and shared in the pleasures and adventures of Hyde; but Hyde was indifferent to Jekyll, or but remembered him as the mountain bandit remembers the cavern in which he conceals himself from pursuit.” Spencer Tracy plays Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1941. Unfortunately indifference becomes more personal, more brutal in nature, as Hyde becomes more and more a caged animal who does not want to have to embrace the pretenses of Jekyll’s respectable position. ”The hatred of Hyde for Jekyll was of a different order. His terror of the gallows drove him continually to commit temporary suicide, and return to his subordinate station of a part instead of a person; he loathed the necessity, he loathed the despondency into which Jekyll had fallen, and he resented the dislike which he was himself regarded.” The tincture that has so far allowed Jekyll to contain Hyde is needing to be doubled and tripled to give Jekyll some modicum of control over his deviant nature. Jekyll contacts every apothecary he knows trying to find more of the solution he needs only to discover that the original batch that he used to make his “grand discovery” with must have been tainted with a foreign substance unknown to any of the suppliers. This foreign substance, unfortunately, is the ingredient that made the emergence and the restraint of Hyde possible. Dire circumstances indeed. Men who normally did not read novels were buying this book. I believe they were looking for some insight into their own nature maybe even some sympathy for their own urges. They made a book that quite possibly could have been thought of as an entertaining gothic novel into an international best seller. New generations of readers are still finding this book essential reading. Even those that have never read this book know the plot and certainly know the names of Jekyll and Hyde. It has inspired numerous movies, mini-series, comic books, and plays. It could be argued that it is one of the most influential novels on the creative arts. It was but a dream. Robert Louis Stevenson was stymied for a new idea. He was racking his brain hoping for inspiration. ”He had his names for the agents of his dreams, his whimsical alter ego and writing self. Stevenson referred to these agents, it pains me to admit, as ‘the little people’ and the ‘the Brownies.’ His hope was that they would supply him with marketable tales.” RLS It came to him in a nightmare that had him screaming loudly enough to wake the whole household. It was a gift from the depths of his mind, maybe an acknowledgement of his own dark thoughts, his own darkest desires. He wrote the nightmare down on paper feverishly over ten days. When he read the final draft to his wife, Fanny, her reaction was not what he expected. She was cold to the tale, completely against publishing such a sensationalized piece of writing. They argued, thin skinned to any criticism as most writers are especially when it is a complete repudiation of a piece of writing he was particularly proud of; Stevenson, in a moment of rage, tossed the whole manuscript in the fireplace. Be still my heart. There is no arguing with success of this magnitude, but I can’t help but wonder what was in that first draft. If there is a criticism of this novel it would be for the restrained nature in which it is presented. Did Stevenson just let it all go? Did he give us more elaborate details of Hyde’s excursions? Was Jekyll’s glee in Hyde’s adventures more fully explored? I understand Stevenson was a fiery Scot given to flights of temper that could only be doused with something as dramatic as throwing 60,000 words into the fire, but how about flinging the pages about the room, and storming away followed by the proper slamming of a door to punctuate displeasure. In my mind’s eye I can see his stepson, Lloyd Osborne, carefully gathering the pages, scaring himself reading them in the middle of the night, and keeping them for all posterity between the leaves of a writing journal. In 1920 John Barrymore played Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Stevenson was obsessed with the concept of good and evil. We all have a side to our personality that we prefer to keep hidden. We all wear masks. For now our inner thoughts are still our own, but don’t be surprised if the NSA has figured out how to tap in and tape those as well. Sometimes wearing the mask becomes arduous. Another entity fights to be allowed to roam free. We want to be impulsive, self-gratifying, slutty, sometimes brutal, but most importantly unfettered by our reputations. I wouldn’t necessarily call that evil, but there are people who do have true viciousness barely contained and we have to hope they continue to restrain it. The Victorians identified with Jekyll/Hyde and maybe to know that others are also struggling with doing right without doing wrong certainly made them feel less like an aberration when they next felt the itch for the East End. I’m sure this book was the source of many fine conversations as they drank their gin and smelled the musky hair of the doxie on their laps. The author with his wife and their household in Vailima, Samoa, c. 1892 Photograph of Robert Louis Stevenson and family, Vailima, on the island of Upolu in Samoa. Left to right: Mary Carter, maid to Stevenson's mother, Lloyd Osbourne, Stevenson's stepson, Margaret Balfour, Stevenson's mother, Isobel Strong, Stevenson's stepdaughter, Robert Louis Stevenson, Austin Strong, the Strong's son, Stevenson's wife Fanny Stevenson, and Joseph Dwight Strong, Isobel's husband. The word that most of his friends and acquaintances used to describe Stevenson (RLS as I often think of him) was captivating. He was sorely missed when he made the decision to move to Samoa taking himself a long way from supportive friends and his fans. He was searching for a healthy environment that would restore his always ailing health. Unfortunately the new climate was found too late, he died at the age of 44 from a brain aneurysm leaving his last novel, the Weir of Hermiston, unfinished. Many believe that he was on the verge of writing his greatest novel. Oddly enough, F. Scott Fitzgerald a very different writer from RLS, but also a favorite of mine died at 44 as well. Critics also believe that The Last Tycoon would have been his best novel if he’d had time to finish it. It does make me wonder about the wonderful stories that were left forever trapped in the now long silent pens of RLS and FSF, but they both left lasting monuments to literature. Even those that don’t appreciate their writing the way I do still have to admit that their impact was undeniable. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    OH BOY, OH BOY, PEOPLE I HAVE A NEW FAVOURITE! This edition came with two stories, "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and "The Bottle Imp," and they were both awesome let's talk about them. I'm so excited I can't contain myself. Jekyll: - So. Well. Crafted. From beginning to end the story was engaging and the themes where quite straightforward, but I really love that in writing (see: George Orwell is my favourite author). I like it when authors aren't bogging their messages down in OH BOY, OH BOY, PEOPLE I HAVE A NEW FAVOURITE! This edition came with two stories, "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and "The Bottle Imp," and they were both awesome let's talk about them. I'm so excited I can't contain myself. Jekyll: - So. Well. Crafted. From beginning to end the story was engaging and the themes where quite straightforward, but I really love that in writing (see: George Orwell is my favourite author). I like it when authors aren't bogging their messages down in unneeded subtleties. - Some of these sentences, I swear to god! One of my favourite ones: “I slept after the prostration of the day, with a stringent and profound slumber which not even the nightmares that wrung me could avail to break.” The context doesn't even matter. It's solid gold. - My only distress with this story comes not from anything Stevenson did, but from the fact that it's so famous (*spoiler alert*): I wish I didn't know Jekyll and Hyde are the same person! Gosh darn it. The story is solid enough that it doesn't matter if you know or not, (which is important: if one spoiler can ruin your story you don't have a very good story), but it would have been so wickedly fun not to know. Stevenson did such a good job of hiding it! - The ideas of evil vs good in humans were great. And the idea that Jekyll didn't hate Hyde.. GOSH DARNIT THIS WAS GREAT. - That ending though. That ending. THAT ENDING, JESUS. Bottle: - I had no idea what the heck this was, which made it so much fun. What a story! Stevenson has an awesome imagination. To avoid spoilers I'll keep this brief. - This story was so stressful. Oh man I felt legitimate anxiety. My heart, it was not happy. WHICH IS GREAT. It's amazing when a piece of writing can make you feel real dread. - Why was it set in Hawaii? When talking to a friend (who is Scottish. and so is Stevenson. so I trust her on this subject) she explained to me that Stevenson was known for being a world traveller, so maybe he just wanted to explore something new. It was interesting, I'd like to look more into the significance of the Hawaii setting.. definitely something to do with being an island? - I wanted this to end more sadly. Gosh it was so set up for a sad ending, and I was dreading dreading dreading that it would end badly but sometimes these things can't end well! I think, ultimately, the ending didn't feel too bad. It could have been done worse, I think the "saviour" situation that happened had legitimate merit, but still. I think this would have been better if it had ended horribly. Go read this, seriously people.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Pfft. This Stevenson guy totally ripped off Stan Lee's Hulk character! I mean, did this dude seriously think he could get away with what basically boils down to a copy & paste job of one of the most iconic literary characters in comics?! I. Think. Not. Stan, my friend, you have a real chance at winning a copyright infringement lawsuit. (view spoiler)[For the love of all that's good and holy, please don't "correct" me in the comments. Hello? Joking! It's obvious that Mr. Stevenson's real Pfft. This Stevenson guy totally ripped off Stan Lee's Hulk character! I mean, did this dude seriously think he could get away with what basically boils down to a copy & paste job of one of the most iconic literary characters in comics?! I. Think. Not. Stan, my friend, you have a real chance at winning a copyright infringement lawsuit. (view spoiler)[For the love of all that's good and holy, please don't "correct" me in the comments. Hello? Joking! It's obvious that Mr. Stevenson's real inspiration for this short story came from the Bugs Bunny cartoons. Duh. (hide spoiler)] *Edit: 2017 For those of you without a working sense of humor, please click this spoiler tag before commenting on my review. (view spoiler)[ The statements above were written with the help of... I'm pointing this out because several of people have had serious keyboard related injuries after angry-typing to let me know that GASP! Stan Lee was born well after Robert Louis Stevenson. sigh Yes. I knew that. Thank you for your concern. I was joking. I assumed it was such an asinine statement that no one could mistake it for anything but a joke. I was wrong. (hide spoiler)] Dr. Jekyll, you dirty, dirty little man... Yes, yes, yes. I know that the whole story is supposed to be some deep philosophical look at the duality of human nature. But that's not interesting. Well, it's not interesting to me. As supposedly groundbreaking as this discussion was at the time this sucker was written (I know this 'cause the introduction said so), it's nothing new to me. Hey, I read...stuff, so I've been introduced to the idea. No, what kept me going was trying to figure out what the hell kind of kink this mild-mannered old fart was into! Seriously. He developed a freaking magic serum just so he could run around and do...WHAT?! What was so off the charts freaky that he'd need to transform into a different person to get away with it? I have my theories... But, unfortunately, Stevenson never gives us a straight answer. He just decided to skip over the juicy bits and ratchet up the tension with the with the whole Good vs Evil thing. Eh. I guess he did a pretty decent job of pulling it off. But what really struck a chord with me was the nice ABC After School Special feel to this one. In the end, Dr. Jekyll apologizes, and everyone goes home happy! Moral of the Story: Don't drink anything that has green smoke coming off of it. Especially if it was brewed in a mad scientist's basement. You will inevitably shrink and get hairy knuckles. Buddy read with The Jeff, Delee, Dustin, Stepheny, Holly, and (party crasher) Tadiana.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    55 pages later and I’m still convinced that Robert Louis Stevenson named his characters this way exclusively so he could fit in the line “if he shall be Mr. Hyde, I shall be Mr. Seek!” and honestly? that’s iconic. Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm. There’s a reason this novella has stood the test of time - it is creepy and interesting as hell. I think there’s something very terrifying 55 pages later and I’m still convinced that Robert Louis Stevenson named his characters this way exclusively so he could fit in the line “if he shall be Mr. Hyde, I shall be Mr. Seek!” and honestly? that’s iconic. Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm. There’s a reason this novella has stood the test of time - it is creepy and interesting as hell. I think there’s something very terrifying to me about the idea of losing humanity and sanity, at first due to your own choices but later because of forces you cannot control. Robert Louis Stevenson allegedly wrote this while on drugs, and you can definitely feel that experience in the book. This is such a short book and I don’t know quite what else to say, but guys... I love Victorian horror. it's so fucking weird and wild and all about Transgressing Social Norms and Being Subversive and this is the kind of shit I am HERE for!! sometime I’ll write my term paper about how Victorian horror was a way for queer people, women, and mentally ill people to express their frustrations at Victorian society in a way that appealed to mass audiences, because I find that dynamic fascinating. dangerous ideas: book 2 Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    KUDOS, KUDOS and more KUDOS to you, Mr. Stevenson!! First, for bringing me more happy than a Slip N Slide on a scorching summer day by providing Warner Bros with the inspiration for one of my favorite cartoons, Hyde and Go Tweet: ...I mean who didn't love giant, cat-eating Tweety Hyde. Second, and more seriously, when I tardily returned to your classic gothic novella as an adult, you once again red-lined my joy meter with the strength and eloquence of your story craft. You story is the gift KUDOS, KUDOS and more KUDOS to you, Mr. Stevenson!! First, for bringing me more happy than a Slip N Slide on a scorching summer day by providing Warner Bros with the inspiration for one of my favorite cartoons, Hyde and Go Tweet: ...I mean who didn't love giant, cat-eating Tweety Hyde. Second, and more seriously, when I tardily returned to your classic gothic novella as an adult, you once again red-lined my joy meter with the strength and eloquence of your story craft. You story is the gift that keeps on giving. In both structure and content, this narrative is a work of art. From a technical perspective, it can be admired for its superb mingling of different literary devices. More importantly (for me at least), the story itself is a powerful depiction of some very important ideas about humanity and what we sometimes hide behind the veneer of civilization. Structurally, the novella crams, stuffs and presses a complete, fully-fleshed story in its scant 88 pages by using a brilliant combo of point of view changes, dialogue, flashback and epistolary components. In lesser hands, the amount of information and story contained in this tale would have required a lot more paper. In addition to being a model of conciseness, the change in style, in my opinion, added to the enjoyment of the story by allowing the reader to be more “present” during the narrative. Content-wise, Stevenson really knocks the cover off the ball. Despite being written in 1886, this tale still stands as the quintessential fictional examination of the duality of man’s nature and the very human struggle between the civilized and primal aspects of our beings. The constrained, repressive society of the Victorian Period in which the story takes place provides the perfect back drop for the model of outward English propriety, Dr. Henry Jekyll, to battle (metaphorically and literally) the darker, baser but still very human desires personified in the person of Edward Hyde. What a perfect allegory between the face people wear in public and the one they take out only in private. Hence it came about that I concealed my pleasures; and that when I reached years of reflection, and began to look round me, and take stock of my progress and position in the world, I stood already committed to a profound duplicity of life. Stevenson’s prose is engaging and I found myself pulled into the narrative from the beginning. I particularly enjoyed when Stevenson wrote of his characters’ reactions to being in the presence of Mr. Hyde and the palpable, pervasive, but non-pinpointable, sense of evil and dread that radiated from him. For example: ‘There is something wrong with his appearance; something displeasing, something downright detestable…’ …’[Hyde’s features] were the expression, and bore the stamp, of lower elements in my soul.’ ‘The last I think; for, O poor old Harry Jekyll, if ever I read Satan's signature upon a face, it is on that of your new friend.’ I was also impressed with Henry Jekyll’s description of his growing realization that man not homogenous inside his own skin but a conglomerate of competing personalities and aspects. With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to the truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two… I hazard the guess that man will be ultimately known for a mere polity of multifarious, incongruous and independent denizens Overall, this is one of those classics that lives up to its name and rightfully belongs among the highlights of gothic fiction. I am very, very pleased that I decided to revisit this story as I found that I loved as an adult what I could only “try to appreciate” as a child. 4.0 stars. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sean Barrs the Bookdragon

    Robert Louis Stevenson was a man who knew how to play his audience. Utterson, the primary point of view character for this novel, is a classic Victorian gentleman; he is honest, noble and trustworthy; he is the last reputable acquaintance of down going men like Henry Jekyll. So, by having a character who evokes the classic feelings of Victorian realism narrate the abnormal encounterings, it gives it credibility; it gives it believability; thus, the story is scarier because if a man such as Robert Louis Stevenson was a man who knew how to play his audience. Utterson, the primary point of view character for this novel, is a classic Victorian gentleman; he is honest, noble and trustworthy; he is the last reputable acquaintance of down going men like Henry Jekyll. So, by having a character who evokes the classic feelings of Victorian realism narrate the abnormal encounterings, it gives it credibility; it gives it believability; thus, the story is scarier because if a man such as Utterson is seeing this strange case, then it must be real. Indeed, this gothic novella was considered very scary at the time. I think this was emphasised because Stevenson pushed the boundaries of the gothic genre. One of the tenants of the style rests upon the inclusion of a doppelgänger. Instead of using this classic idea Stevenson transgressed it with having his doppelgängers relationship reside in the same character. Jekyll/Hyde is the same person, and at the same time one and another’s counterpart. I think this is a masterful technique because the relationship between the two is more psychologically complex and fear inducing, than, for example, the relationship between Frankenstein and his Monster. It breaks the boundaries of the normal role and establishes a doppelgänger relationship that is stronger than any others. This all happened because one day a Victoria chemist decided to see if he could separate the two states of human nature. The result was a successful disaster. Utterson has to try and piece together the scraps of the strange situation. He is perplexed at the idea of the paranormal because logic dictates that this shouldn’t be happening, therefore, it isn’t real, but only it is so, again, it becomes more scary. The incident at the window is demonstrative of this. Utterson witnesses Jekyll’s transgressive shift into Hyde and a shift between the doppelgangers. The blood of the Victorian gentleman is frozen by what he beholds. "I learned to recognise the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both." I love the gothic genre and I love this novella. I think so much can be taken from it because the number of interpretations that have been made of it are huge. It is told in my favourite style of narration: epistolary. There are a number of narrators, including Jekyll himself. Consequently, the interpretive value is increased significantly. I’ve spoken a lot about Utterson, but there is also the strong possibility of Jekyll being an unreliable narrator as he has deluded himself almost completely. One could also compare the work to Stevenson’s own life and his self-imposed exile as he wrote this gothic master piece. In addition to this, Hyde can be seen as the personification of having the so called exact physical characteristics of a criminal in the Victorian age, and the homosexual undertones are also very implicit in the text. There is just so much going on in here. The literary value of this is, of course, incredibly high. But, it is also incredibly entertaining to read. I’ve written essays about this novella for university; thus, I could praise this book all day and night. This is, certainly, the best novella I've read to date. I had to buy a Folio Society edition of it, I just had to.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Fabian

    The appearances/superficiality motif appears as early on as the first sentence in this tense, tight, but ultimately convoluted smear of a novella. Count on countenance for good & sturdy bones in a story of detection... & yet... Plus there are really nice framing devices on display here, a check-mark always in my book, like the letters within letters narrative, a nifty exercise, which is mighty cool. (Here, my favorite sentence from the Robert Louis Stevenson classic: "Jekyll had more The appearances/superficiality motif appears as early on as the first sentence in this tense, tight, but ultimately convoluted smear of a novella. Count on countenance for good & sturdy bones in a story of detection... & yet... Plus there are really nice framing devices on display here, a check-mark always in my book, like the letters within letters narrative, a nifty exercise, which is mighty cool. (Here, my favorite sentence from the Robert Louis Stevenson classic: "Jekyll had more than a father's interest; Hyde had more than a son's indifference." [85] Super neat!) Yet... And then there is the fact that the main protagonists become manifested once they are uttered into existence by the status quo, the pre turn of the century Londonfolk. Rumor creates their reputations before the two, er one, ever make the center stage. However... I must mention that I feel as though the actual occurrence, the solved crime, what's underneath all the whispy artifices of this rudimentary detective-noir novel, is a homosexual relationship gone to extremes, to a level that's too... literary? Maybe that's a stretch. Also, I LOVE that JEKYLL sounds like jackal, as in Devil. Cute. But This is not worthy of the canon (!!!!). Bottom Line. Cos the whole Dual-Nature and Commingling-of-Good-and-Evil thing is overdone, stamped into the reader like some mantra that could be interpreted in many different ways and becomes, quite frankly, overly exhausted. This ain't as kitschy, or pre-kitschy-- nowhere near-- as I'd foolishly predicted. If you want something macabre AND brilliant, go to the French serial-classic "The Phantom of the Opera"!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a gothic novella by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson first published in 1886. The work is also known as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or simply Jekyll & Hyde. It is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde. The novella's impact The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a gothic novella by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson first published in 1886. The work is also known as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or simply Jekyll & Hyde. It is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde. The novella's impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the very phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" coming to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next. عنوانها: دکتر جکیل و مستر هاید؛ قضیه عجیب دکتر جکیل و مستر هاید؛ ماجرای عجیب دکتر جکیل و آقای هاید؛ دکتر جکیل و آقای هاید؛ ماجرای عجیب شگفت انگیز؛ مورد عجیب دکتر جکیل و آقای هاید؛ نویسنده: رابرت لوییس استیونسون؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: پنجم ماه آوریل سال 2012 میلادی عنوان: دکتر جکیل و مستر هاید (متن کوتاه شده)؛ نویسنده: رابرت لوییس استیونسون؛ مترجم: جعفر مدرس صادقی؛ تهران، نشر مرکز، 1373، در 111 ص؛ عنوان: ماجرای عجیب دکتر جکیل و آقای هاید؛ نویسنده: رابرت لوییس استیونسون؛ مترجم: علی فاطمیان؛ تهران، ارشاد، چشم انداز، 1376، در 240 ص؛ شابک: 9644220579؛ و مترجمین: جعفر مدرس صادقی؛ شایسته ابراهیمی؛ جلال بهجتی؛ فرحناز عطاریان؛ میترا کوچاری؛ رامین هدایتی؛ محسن سلیمانی؛ مرجان رضایی؛ علی فاطمیان؛ شیوا رفیعی؛ غهیمه عابدینی؛ حسین علیخانپور شاه آبادی؛ ...؛ کتاب «دکتر جکیل و آقای هاید»، عنوان یک داستان است، که توسط نویسنده ی اسکاتلندی، «رابرت لوییس استیونسون»، در سال 1886 میلادی، در لندن منتشر شده‌ است. در این رمان «دکتر جکیل»، که به مبحث دوگانگی شخصیت علاقمند است، دارویی برای جدا کردن جنبه‌ های خوب و بد انسانی خویش، میسازد. از جنبه‌ های بد، فردی به نام: «آقای هاید»، پدید میآید، که دست به اعمال جنایتبار، و حتی قتل میزند. این رمان کشمکش درونی بد و خوب هر انسان را، به تصویر میکشد. سبک نوشتاری رمان بسیار جذاب و غنی است، و به عنوان مرجعی مهم، در مبحث دوگانگی شخصیت، از آن یاد میشود. سرگذشت «دکتر جکیل و آقای هاید»، منبع الهام قطعات تئاتر، فیلمهای سینمایی، و چندین آهنگ، بوده است. ا. شربیانی

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)

    4.5* *Read for class*

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    What I learned reading Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? By Jeff 1) Some things are better left unsaid. Really? Who knows how Hyde indulged himself? Hookers? Pirating? Running an orphan sweat shop? Booze? Opium? Ripping the “Do Not Remove under Penalty of Law” labels from mattresses? 2) Never have a nosy lawyer as a best friend. Who the hell hangs out with lawyers? 3) My evil Hyde would not be a top hat wearing, monkey-like Juggernaut. Sorry, he would be more Dean Martin-esque, a la “The Nutty Professor. What I learned reading Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? By Jeff 1) Some things are better left unsaid. Really? Who knows how Hyde indulged himself? Hookers? Pirating? Running an orphan sweat shop? Booze? Opium? Ripping the “Do Not Remove under Penalty of Law” labels from mattresses? 2) Never have a nosy lawyer as a best friend. Who the hell hangs out with lawyers? 3) My evil Hyde would not be a top hat wearing, monkey-like Juggernaut. Sorry, he would be more Dean Martin-esque, a la “The Nutty Professor. 4) How in need Victorian England was for body waxing and/or Nair. 5) As long as my evil twin was a different size - stretchy spandex material for those embarrassing and untimely changes. 6) This has no business being a musical. An episode of Scooby Doo, sure. (I would have “worked” my way through the entire brothel, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!) Stage musical, no! 7) Possible Hyde potion flavors: Salted Caramel, Lime Mint, White Chocolate Almond, Tangerine Mango 8) Evil housekeeper-good, evil hideout attached to regular pad-just stupid. Note to self: make Evil me smarter and even more cunning. 9) Some adaptations over the years: In Abbot and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Costello, playing Tubby, is transformed into a big mouse. Huh? In Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde, the movie poster warned: “The sexual transformation of a man into a woman will actually take place before your very eyes!” “Acting! Brilliant! Thank you!” 10) At around one hundred pages, this book (novella?) was the perfect length. Any longer and Stevenson’s leaden prose style would have transformed me into grumpy, whiney, sleepy reader.

  11. 5 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    After the overblown Frankenstein and the undercooked Dracula, it's pleasant to find that the language and pacing of the third great pillar of horror is so forceful and deliberate (especially since I was disappointed by Stevenson's other big work, Treasure Island). But then, this is a short story, and it's somewhat easier to carry off the shock, horror, and mystery over fewer pages instead of drawing it out like Shelley and Stoker into a grander moralizing tale. But Stevenson still manages to get After the overblown Frankenstein and the undercooked Dracula, it's pleasant to find that the language and pacing of the third great pillar of horror is so forceful and deliberate (especially since I was disappointed by Stevenson's other big work, Treasure Island). But then, this is a short story, and it's somewhat easier to carry off the shock, horror, and mystery over fewer pages instead of drawing it out like Shelley and Stoker into a grander moralizing tale. But Stevenson still manages to get in quite a bit of complexity, even in the short space. As I was reading it, I found myself wishing I didn't already know the story--that it hadn't been automatically transmitted to me by society--because I wondered how much better it would be to go in not knowing the answer to the grand, central mystery, but instead being able to watch it unfold before me. Much has been said about the 'dual nature of man', the good versus the evil sides, but what fascinated me about the book was that despite being drawn in such lines, it did not strike me as a tale of one side of man versus another. Indeed, it is the virtuous side who seeks out a way to become destructive, showing that his virtuosity is a mere sham. Likewise, neither Jekyll nor Hyde seem to have any real motivation to be either 'good' or 'evil', it is more that they are victims of some disorder which compels them to be as they are--that causal Victorian psychology which, in the end, robs anyone involved of premeditation for what they do. Dracula kills to survive, Frankenstein does so because he is the product of the ultimate broken home and Hyde does it as a self-destructive compulsion despite the fact that he loves life above all else, yet is unable to protect himself well enough to retain it. This is not the evil of Milton's Satan, or of Moriarty, who know precisely what they do and do it because of the way they see the world before them, but that of the phrenologist, who measures a man's head with calipers and declares him evil based upon the values so garnered, independent of any understanding, motivation, or reason. And yet this is not an unbelievable evil--indeed, Stevenson uses it as an analysis of addiction and other self-destructive behaviors, where the pure chemical rush of the thing becomes its own cause, despite the fact that the addict will tell you he wishes nothing more than to be rid of it, to be normal again, never to have tasted the stuff in the first place. It is a place a man might fall into through ignorance and carelessness, never realizing how hard it could be, in the end, to escape. And that's something we can all relate to, far more than the sociopathy of Moriarty, which requires that you have complete understanding but just a completely different set of emotional reactions to the world around you. It is much easier for most people to say that there is some part inside them that they do not like, that makes them uncomfortable, some thoughts and desires which rise unbidden from their brain, and which they must fight off. And it is the fact that they are strong enough to need to be fought off that unsettles us and gives us pause, for we do not like to think that such incomprehensible forces might always be there, working, just beneath the surface, and which might come out not due to some dark desire or motivation, but due to simple, thoughtless error.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Greg Watson

    December 2009 Jekyll and Hyde is commonly evoked to describe someone with a split personality. Stevenson's novel is about a dual physical and spiritual nature struggling for control of one person. In this struggle, Dr. Jekyll doesn't just assume a different personality, he actually becomes Mr. Hyde. Presbyterian Pastor Tim Keller has a good, brief analysis of parts of the Jekyll and Hyde story in his book The Reason for God. Keller pinpoints a key point in the story, noting that it's in a moment December 2009 Jekyll and Hyde is commonly evoked to describe someone with a split personality. Stevenson's novel is about a dual physical and spiritual nature struggling for control of one person. In this struggle, Dr. Jekyll doesn't just assume a different personality, he actually becomes Mr. Hyde. Presbyterian Pastor Tim Keller has a good, brief analysis of parts of the Jekyll and Hyde story in his book The Reason for God. Keller pinpoints a key point in the story, noting that it's in a moment of vainglory that Dr. Jekyll involuntary transforms into Mr. Hyde. This transformation occurs as Dr. Jekyll sits "on a bench in Regents Park, thinking about all the good he has been doing, and how much better man he was, despite Edward Hyde, than the great majority of people." All this to say that Stevenson's novel goes far deeper than a psychoanalytic study of a split personality; it's about a profound spiritual struggle of the evil and good nature within a person.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    It seems like I've been familiar with the "good" Dr. Jekyll and the "evil" Mr. Hyde all my life, but the thing that most struck me, once I finally got around to actually reading this classic, is--other than their outward appearance--how alike these two aspects of the same man actually are. Dr. Jekyll has always been aware of the duality in his character: he admits to some apparently fairly serious youthful indiscretions, and even when he consciously puts his vices behind him for a time, he It seems like I've been familiar with the "good" Dr. Jekyll and the "evil" Mr. Hyde all my life, but the thing that most struck me, once I finally got around to actually reading this classic, is--other than their outward appearance--how alike these two aspects of the same man actually are. Dr. Jekyll has always been aware of the duality in his character: he admits to some apparently fairly serious youthful indiscretions, and even when he consciously puts his vices behind him for a time, he always feels the yearning to give into them again. When he creates the potion that transforms him into Hyde, he's not leaving only his virtues with Jekyll and putting all his evil aspects into Hyde:... although I had now two characters as well as two appearances, one was wholly evil, and the other was still the old Henry Jekyll, that incongruous compound of whose reformation and improvement I had already learned to despair. The movement was thus wholly toward the worse.So Henry Jekyll still has all of his original hidden vices, and Hyde seems to me to be just a way for him to let the evil side of himself loose without (Jekyll thinks) fear of repercussions. But Hyde isn't purely evil either--there seems to be more of Jekyll's character in Hyde than the good doctor is willing to admit, or Hyde wouldn't always have been so anxious to turn himself back into Jekyll, like when he writes the frantic letter to his friend for help. I think our doctor is a bit of an unreliable narrator. It's interesting to think about the symbolism of the names here: the "good" doctor carries the name "Je (French for "I") kill," and the evil Hyde is the part of Jekyll himself that he was always trying to hide. Most of the other characters also seem to have their hidden vices. There's a lot of discussion and symbolism in the book about dual natures: the city itself, and even Jekyll's home, have a proper/degenerate dichotomy, with good and bad co-existing side by side. Certainly this was a major issue in Victorian times, when people in society wanted to appear very proper, but there was some major hidden sleaziness and vice. I'm not sure, in the end, what the book is trying to say is the cure for this problem. Repression doesn't appear to work very well, but at the same time, Jekyll's woes and eventual death come from his caving in to his evil desires, hidden or not. Maybe there are no easy answers. Actor Richard Mansfield portrayed Jekyll and Hyde in a theater production in the 1880's (so well that he was suspected of being Jack the Ripper!) Buddy read with Jeff, Anne, Holly, Stepheny, Delee and Dustin. A big thanks to Anne for hosting our party! Sorry if we trashed your house!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Manny

    By day, the mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll mouths platitudes about trickledown economics in front of a teleprompter while vaguely apologizing. By night, the demoniacal Mr. Hyde stands in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoots people. Will the US electorate realize what's happening before it's too late? _____________________ (view spoiler)[They didn't. (hide spoiler)]

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    Do you know what a "Jekyll and Hyde" character is? Of course you do. It is one of the descriptions, originally in a piece of literature, which has now become accepted in our vernacular. And there are many renditions of the story, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and countless references to it in all aspects of life. Quite an achievement for a slim Victorian volume written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, and published in 1886. "Man is not truly one, but truly two." So Do you know what a "Jekyll and Hyde" character is? Of course you do. It is one of the descriptions, originally in a piece of literature, which has now become accepted in our vernacular. And there are many renditions of the story, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and countless references to it in all aspects of life. Quite an achievement for a slim Victorian volume written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, and published in 1886. "Man is not truly one, but truly two." So asserts Dr. Jekyll. But we are slightly handicapped nowadays by knowing the crux of the plot beforehand. Before this tale there seems to have been nothing similar, although there had been earlier tales in literature about doppelgängers. Robert Louis Stevenson had always been interested in the duality of human nature, and shown admiration for morally ambiguous heroes - or anti-heroes. But the spark which produced this novel was ignited by a dream he had had. His wife Fanny reported, "In the small hours of one morning ... I was awakened by cries of horror from Louis. Thinking he had a nightmare, I awakened him. He said angrily, 'Why did you wake me? I was dreaming a fine bogey tale.' I had awakened him at the first transformation scene." The writing of the story itself is a gripping tale. Stevenson wrote the original draft with feverish excitement, taking less than three days. He then collapsed with a haemorrhage, and his wife edited the manuscript, as was her habit. The story is that it was she who suggested to her husband that he should have written it as an allegory, rather than a story. On being left alone with his manuscript, Stevenson promptly burnt it to ashes, thus forcing himself to start again from scratch, and rewrite it in the form of an allegory. It is unclear whether this is true, or myth, since there can be no evidence of a burnt manuscript. However later biographers of Robert Louis Stevenson have claimed that he was probably on drugs such as cocaine when writing it. He was certainly ill and confined to bed at the time. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was an immediate success, and remains Stevenson's most popular work. It is only recently however that his work has been thought to deserve critical attention. The author himself took his writing lightly, shrugging his popularity off with a dismissive, "Fiction is to grown men what play is to the child," and continuing to write his swashbuckling stories of romance and adventure; what he called "historical tushery." The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was thus an unusual tale for him to write. Perhaps its popularity at the time was partly due to its high moral tone. Not only was it adapted for the stage, but was also said to be widely quoted in religious sermons. "With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to the truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two." "All human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone, in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil." One can see how ministers of the church would be tempted to use the story as a convenient illustration for descriptions of temptation, sin and depravity. From a modern point of view the style is dated, and almost archaic. There is a lot of preamble and dissembling. Of course this must have added to the mystery. Yet since there is little mystery at all to a modern reader, it is difficult to judge. The novel starts with a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who is intrigued to be told stories of his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and also about some evil crimes committed by a man called Edward Hyde. He himself witnesses Hyde going into Jekyll's house, describing Hyde as a "troglodyte", or ugly animalistic creature. As the story moves on, we learn that not only is Hyde primitive, but also immoral, taking a delight in his crimes. He is not an animal, amoral and innocent, but a person Utterson sees as evil and depraved, full of rage and revelling in his vices. (view spoiler)[The two violent crimes which Hyde indulges in are both directed against the most vulnerable members of society - a young child and a much-loved old man. (hide spoiler)] The puzzle remains what could possibly be the link between the two very different men. Yet is the morality of civilised people merely a veneer after all? The story is set very firmly in its time, when the ideas of what was decent and upright behaviour was set, not fluid. Yet even so, appearances and facades were often just an illusory surface, hiding a more sordid truth. A respectable man would sometimes prefer to look the other way and remain ignorant, "I feel very strongly about putting questions; it partakes too much of the style of the day of judgement. You start a question, and it's like starting a stone. You sit quietly on the top of a hill; and away the stone goes, starting others; and presently some bland old bird (the last you would have thought of) is knocked on the head in his own back garden, and the family have to change their name. No, sir, I make it a rule of mine: the more it looks like Queer Street, the less I ask." When Utterson suspects that (view spoiler)[his friend might be being blackmailed, he makes no mention of it. Neither does he speak out when he thinks Dr. Jekyll might be sheltering Hyde from the police. (hide spoiler)] To a Victorian gentleman, his reputation would have been paramount. The unwritten rule of the time, known to all respectable people, stated that one never betrayed a friend, whatever their secret. This may seem hypocrisy to modern eyes, or it may seem loyalty. As the story moves on the relationship between the two is compounded, but it is not until the final chapters, which consist of two letters to be opened in the event of a death, that the horrific story unfolds. This is a popular device of the time, but it lacks immediacy, and the story seems to finish unexpectedly, at the end of one letter, without any sort of conclusion. The descriptions however are very powerful, "As I looked there came, I thought a change - he seemed to swell - his face became suddenly black and the features seemed to melt and alter..." "The most racking pangs succeeded: a grinding in the bones, deadly nausea, and a horror of the spirit that cannot be exceeded at the hour of birth or death. Then these agonies began swiftly to subside, and I came to myself as if out of a great sickness. There was something strange in my sensations, something indescribably sweet. I felt younger, lighter, happier in body; within I was conscious of a heady recklessness, a current of disordered sensual images running like a millrace in my fancy, a solution of the bonds of obligation, an unknown but innocent freedom of the soul. I knew myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be more wicked, tenfold more wicked, sold a slave to my original evil and the thought, in that moment, braced and delighted me like wine." "This was the shocking thing; that the slime of the pit seemed to utter cries and voices; that the amorphous dust gesticulated and sinned; that what was dead, and had no shape, should usurp the offices of life. And this again, that that insurgent horror was knit to him closer than a wife, closer than an eye; lay caged in his flesh, where he heard it mutter and felt it struggle to be born; and at every hour of weakness, and in the confidence of slumber, prevailed against him, and deposed him out of life." It is an interesting depiction by Stevenson, that Dr. Jekyll could rarely bring himself to use the personal pronoun when talking about Hyde's most despicable crimes. Indeed, the character makes the same observation himself, yet at first he had talked in the first person throughout. To a modern reader then, this is a story about a split personality, or what is technically called "dissociative identity disorder". But Stevenson also invites us to view it as a moral tale, an allegory, questioning the abstract notions of good and evil. Do we all have a "dark side"? Do we truly have both a tendency to evil and an inclination towards virtue within our natures? If so, how do we decide which is uppermost? Can we consciously control them at all? And which, if either, might continue after death? The author poses the question, leaving it to the reader to decide, although there are hints that he views us all as having a dual nature, “The bargain might appear unequal; but there was still another consideration in the scales; for while Jekyll would suffer smartingly in the fires of abstinence, Hyde would be not even conscious of all that he had lost.” It is always interesting to read the original of a much-loved tale. This has flaws of construction, but is well worth a look even so. EDIT: (a few months later) I've been aware that this is probably worth a little more than my default rating, if only because of its phenomenal influence on popular culture, and writing about this theme, since. So I'm altering my rating to a 4 stars, as it falls somewhere between the two, I think.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Raeleen Lemay

    IF ONLY the revelation halfway through this had been unknown to me before reading it, I probably would have enjoyed this book more. It was good, but knowing what the twist is can really bring a story down for me. This book is also very simple and to-the-point, which isn't always my favourite style of writing. I would have enjoyed for the story to be more drawn out, preferably with an addition of at least another hundred pages.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Delee

    A veeeeeeeery short buddy-read with: Buddy Loooooove, Too much Buddy Love aka I want to be called The Nutty Professor, I love everybody Buddy Love, What did I do to deserve this Buddy Love?, Gimmie some Buddy Love....aaaaaand My brand new Buddy Love. Whew! Did I get everyone??? I am not a classic book reader- I fall under the category that some snobbish readers would call a fluffy reader..a reader for entertainment purposes only- Not a reader for intellectual growth. The classics were read in A veeeeeeeery short buddy-read with: Buddy Loooooove, Too much Buddy Love aka I want to be called The Nutty Professor, I love everybody Buddy Love, What did I do to deserve this Buddy Love?, Gimmie some Buddy Love....aaaaaand My brand new Buddy Love. Whew! Did I get everyone??? I am not a classic book reader- I fall under the category that some snobbish readers would call a fluffy reader..a reader for entertainment purposes only- Not a reader for intellectual growth. The classics were read in my high school and college years- and I was soooooo burned out by the time I finished the ones I HAD to read- I just wanted fuuuuuuuuuun in my spare time...but when I heard that my favorite Goodreaders were picking this one up....and was also aware that- this one was sooooooo itsy bitsy..I knew I had to join in. Maybe I could be smart and have fuuuuuuuuuuun at the same time. The sensible lawyer- Mr. Utterson- listens as his long time friend- Enfield tells a sinister tale. He speaks of a wicked figure named Mr. Hyde- who assaulted a young girl and then quickly disappeared and re-appeared- only to make payment to her family. Mr. Utterson has heard this name before...for another of his close friends (and clients)- Dr. Jekyll, made a will that will leave his property to this same horrible man. Short...but packs a punch! I realllllllllllllly liked this- and I have to stop avoiding some of these novels I have written off as "too serious for me". Highly recommended for anyone that has a couple of hours to spare.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Natalia Yaneva

    Bulgarian review below/Ревюто на български е по-долу “If he be Mr. Hyde”, he had thought, “I shall be Mr. Seek”. If “Jekyll and Hyde” was a painting, it would’ve been Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”. If it was a mental illness, it would’ve been dissociative identity disorder, not schizophrenia, as is the popular guess if there’s more than one of you inside your head. I would say that the story can also be likened to a long dark tea-time of the soul, because it would take you just that much to read Bulgarian review below/Ревюто на български е по-долу “If he be Mr. Hyde”, he had thought, “I shall be Mr. Seek”. If “Jekyll and Hyde” was a painting, it would’ve been Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”. If it was a mental illness, it would’ve been dissociative identity disorder, not schizophrenia, as is the popular guess if there’s more than one of you inside your head. I would say that the story can also be likened to a long dark tea-time of the soul, because it would take you just that much to read it. Beware however, for you will think about it for a long time afterwards and it’ll make your flesh creep. I suppose it can be argued that in each of us there’s something we cannot fully explain. It happens to be seen “in a bad light”, we “jump out of our skin” or we “are out of our senses”. Thinking about it, we have a slight obsession for others to perceive us in our good half, or third, or however many sides we imagine that we have. This is probably also related to the prehistoric fear of banishment from the community, which meant certain death due to the lack of mammoth meat for dinner or the roar of a predatory saber-toothed cat instead of “good morning”. The strain to appear more normal than we actually are is one of the curses of mankind. Sometimes the exertion of this exhausts us completely, and we even begin to wonder if there is such a thing as “normality”. The answer, of course, is always “no”. In his gothic novel, Robert Louis Stevenson carries to excess the good Dr. Jekyll’s struggle with his inner demons, and thus the blood-chilling Hyde appears. What better metaphor of the guileful human nature than being both the protagonist and the antagonist of one’s own life. One would have thought that if you cut off the sprout of evil in yourself and throw it away like a weed, it would be some sort of an ending. However, weeds have the annoying propensity to grow under all types of unfavorable conditions, unlike goodness, which, alas, requires quite special care and everlasting nourishment. Mr. Hyde, uprooted and then sprouting, left alone to his own devilish devices, slowly begins to choke his creator. The natural course of everything is towards chaos. Many efforts are needed to harness the chaos in one’s soul. Denial though only aggravates the situation. Mr. Hyde is an allegory of the evil which smoulders in each of us. The scientific exorcism practiced by Jekyll eloquently shows the catastrophic consequences when one isn’t reconciled with all pieces of their own nature and is trying to be something they are not. It also shows that if you try to trick the much needed equilibrium in nature, nothing good is in store for you. I don’t entirely agree with Sartre, who thinks “hell is other people”. Hell is always in our own consciousness. And everything that it shows us is just an illusion. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ “If he be Mr. Hyde”, he had thought, “I shall be Mr. Seek”, Ако „Джекил и Хайд“ беше картина, щеше да е „Викът“ на Едвард Мунк. Ако беше заболяване, щеше да е дисоциативно разстройство на личността, не шизофрения, както е популярно да се смята, ако сте повече от един там някъде вътре. Бих казала, че историята може да се оприличи и на дълъг, мрачен следобеден чай на душата, защото толкова би ви отнело да я прочетете. Колко време след това ще си мислите за нея и ще настръхвате, е съвсем друг въпрос. Предполагам може да се поспори, че във всеки от нас пребивава по нещо, което не можем напълно да обясним. Случва се да ни видят „в лоша светлина“, „излизаме извън кожата си“ или „не сме на себе си“. Като се замисля, имаме лека обсебеност другите да ни възприемат откъм добрата ни половина, третина или колкото там страни си въобразява всеки, че има. Вероятно това е свързано с праисторическия страх от отлъчване от общността, който означавал сигурна смърт поради липса на мамутско месо за вечеря или рев на кръвожаден саблезъб вместо „добро утро“. Напрежението да се покажем по-нормални, отколкото всъщност сме, е едно от проклятията на човечеството. Понякога усилието от това ни изцежда напълно и като цяло започваме да се питаме има ли такова нещо като „нормалност“. Отговорът, разбира се, винаги е „не“. В своята готическа новела Робърт Луис Стивънсън довежда до крайност схватката на добрия доктор Джекил с вътрешните му бесове и така се появява смразяващият кръвта Хайд. Каква по-добра метафора на лукавата човешка природа от това да си едновременно протагонистът и антагонистът на собствения си живот. Човек би помислил, че ако откъснеш издънката на злото у себе си и я захвърлиш като плевел, това ще е нещо като край. Плевелите обаче имат досадното свойство да растат при всякакви неблагоприятни условия, за разлика от доброто, на което, уви, му трябват доста специални грижи и непрекъснато подхранване. Господин Хайд, изтръгнат и после покълнал, оставен сам на себе си и собствените си дяволски развлечения, бавно започва да задушава създателя си. Естественият ход на всичко е към хаос. Много усилия трябват, за да овладее хаосът в нечия душа. Отричането обаче само влошава положението. Господин Хайд е алегория на злото, което тлее по малко във всеки. Научният екзорсизъм, който практикува Джекил, красноречиво показва катастрофалните последици, когато някой не се е помирил с всички части на собствената си същност и се опитва да бъде нещо, което не е. Показва също и че ако се опитате да изиграете равновесието, което е необходимо в природата, не ви чака нищо добро. Не съм напълно съгласна със Сартр, който смята, че „адът – това са другите“. Адът винаги е в собственото ни съзнание. А всичко, което то ни показва, е просто илюзия.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    “Man is not truly one, but truly two” Dr. Jekyll attains through his experience with being both himself and Mr. Hyde that there are actually two sides to him. He claims that people, as far as he can tell, are made up of two sides― good and evil. But is it really true? Is a good and dignified person, good and dignified because that is what s/he is supposed to be? Because that is the way s/he is expected to be? Does everyone have a secret dark side that they desperately keep in their closet? Does “Man is not truly one, but truly two” Dr. Jekyll attains through his experience with being both himself and Mr. Hyde that there are actually two sides to him. He claims that people, as far as he can tell, are made up of two sides― good and evil. But is it really true? Is a good and dignified person, good and dignified because that is what s/he is supposed to be? Because that is the way s/he is expected to be? Does everyone have a secret dark side that they desperately keep in their closet? Does this side hide in the dark, lurks, and waits for the perfect opportunity to be unleashed? What happens when this dark side― along with its impulses― is repressed? Does it create some sort of duality―two personalities that seem opposite and antagonistic? Is the conflict between the two sides Man's burden till the last breath s/he takes? What happens when you dwell on a side and neglect the other? Is a certain balance possible? “All human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone, in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil.” “I have been made to learn that the doom and burden of our life is bound forever on man’s shoulders; and when the attempt is made to cast it off, it but returns upon us with more unfamiliar and more awful pressure.” “You must suffer me to go my own dark way.”

  20. 5 out of 5

    Evgeny

    The story is widely known and very influential. It was retold and replayed countless number of times by practically everywhere and everybody, including one of the best cartoon series of all the time, Looney Tunes: For this reason people writing blurbs for the book decided it is quite fine to take a lazy route and give spoiler right away. At least in my opinion something revealed only in the last chapter should be considered a spoiler. I am going to assume there are people who have no clue what The story is widely known and very influential. It was retold and replayed countless number of times by practically everywhere and everybody, including one of the best cartoon series of all the time, Looney Tunes: For this reason people writing blurbs for the book decided it is quite fine to take a lazy route and give spoiler right away. At least in my opinion something revealed only in the last chapter should be considered a spoiler. I am going to assume there are people who have no clue what the book is about and only tell the very beginning without revealing the contents of the aforementioned last chapter. Imagine a typical old-fashioned respected Victorian doctor: He lived a typical for his class life when his friends began noticing his mysterious connection to a highly disagreeable (I am trying to use the appropriate for that time term) man called Mr. Hyde. The first obvious conclusion was a blackmail - it seems a good doctor led a fairly wild life when he was a youth. Once again let me remind you that most probably his life was wild only in the eyes of his Victorian contemporaries. So it seems Mr. Hyde knew something about the doctor because the latter never failed to hush up the crazy adventures of the former. The truth turned out to be much more gruesome. I would not qualify the book as horror as it is not scary. It does have a great atmosphere though and a couple of scenes are quite spooky. The writing style while somewhat aged is still quite good and makes an easy read. Having said this I need to mention I was really bored by the end. Why? The tale has a clear message; it was so clear I would not even talk about it to avoid spoilers for those rare individuals who do not know the story. Anyhow, by the end I had a strong impression that the delivering of the message was a little heavy-handed. I am not trying to tell the author was driving it home with a hammer; far from it. He was using more serious tool for this: This made reading the last chapter quite a chore with the only saving grace being the overall length of the book - it is fairly short. This is the reason why I lowered my rating for otherwise classic horror story: 3.5 stars rounded down.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    Bruce Banner / The Hulk, Lawrence Talbot / The Wolfman, and Norman Bates are watching Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 film Full Metal Jacket and Joker has just said to the visiting Colonel that his helmet decorations were meant “to suggest something about the duality of man”. Norman: We all go a little mad sometimes. Bruce: This makes me think of Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I mean about the whole duality of man thing. Talbot: I think that is a Bruce Banner / The Hulk, Lawrence Talbot / The Wolfman, and Norman Bates are watching Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 film Full Metal Jacket and Joker has just said to the visiting Colonel that his helmet decorations were meant “to suggest something about the duality of man”. Norman: We all go a little mad sometimes. Bruce: This makes me think of Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I mean about the whole duality of man thing. Talbot: I think that is a ubiquitous element of much of fiction, especially in the fantasy or horror genres, that someone can be two people at once, or can change from a civilized man into a monster. Norman: Stephen King observed this in his treatise on horror fiction Danse Macabre, that one of the basic tenants of horror, one of the fundamental templates for a horror story is the idea that we can cross a line and become a fiend. Talbot: My own unique situation with lycanthropy is a study in this, as is my inner struggle about how enjoyable it is to become the wolf, to set aside the morals of society and be a beast. Bruce: But like Jekyll, the consequences of the beastly behavior becomes too overwhelming when we return to human. I feel a tremendous responsibility to control the Hulk, to minimize the damage that he / we / I can cause. I think that is part of what destroyed Jekyll. I must control my anger, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. Norman: This concept, this idea goes back to mythology, with the Roman god Janus and of the personification of transitions and duality, the idea that we represent opposing forces, divergent walkers on the same path. My mother likes to say things like that anyway. Bruce: Interestingly, and opposed to much of the adaptations of this story, Hyde was described as “dwarfish” and not bigger than Jekyll; most modern interpretations of this story show him as a larger than life, hulking figure whereas Stevenson drew him as smaller. Norman: Perhaps Stevenson was eliciting a more Victorian ideal about decadence, depravity and the diminution of societal norms, being monstrous made him “less” of a man, he was dealing in metaphor. Talbot: An intriguing story and a must read for fans of the horror genre as it represents a fundamental pattern in this context.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    My impetus for reading this classic 1886 novella was seeing an interview with Donna Tartt in which she discusses writing The Goldfinch. She says that she read Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde during her formative years and that there's "something of it in every book I've ever written". Well, since I adore every book Ms. Tartt has ever written, it was high time I read this. I love the creeptastic gothic stories from this time period - Frankenstein, Dracula, anything by Poe. There's something dank and dingy My impetus for reading this classic 1886 novella was seeing an interview with Donna Tartt in which she discusses writing The Goldfinch. She says that she read Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde during her formative years and that there's "something of it in every book I've ever written". Well, since I adore every book Ms. Tartt has ever written, it was high time I read this. I love the creeptastic gothic stories from this time period - Frankenstein, Dracula, anything by Poe. There's something dank and dingy in those pages that makes the skin turn clammy. It must have been highly original for the time, and made me realise that Stevenson's story has influenced and inspired many writers through the years, not just Tartt. (Hello, Fight Club?) The execution of this book wasn't necessarily my cup of tea; a few written post mortem confessions don't exactly bring horror to life. BUT the ideas behind this book are what really interest me. Duplicity, shame, alienation, and morality, to name a few. It is chilling to acknowledge we all have a set of "polar twins" that are "continuously struggling" in order to both satisfy self and present well in society. That each person has their own Hyde scratching in the basement is everyone's dirty little secret.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Apatt

    “I have become a monster! I must find a place where I can hide! That’s it! I shall call myself…” DUN-DUN-DUUUUN!!! “Mr. Where-I-can!” The above is paraphrased from a “Morecambe & Wise” Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde sketch, they don’t often make me laugh, but this one is gold! Not so much "The Strange Case" as the "Overly Familiar Case". The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of those stories that practically everybody knows so few people bother to read the original text. The original “I have become a monster! I must find a place where I can hide! That’s it! I shall call myself…” DUN-DUN-DUUUUN!!! “Mr. Where-I-can!” The above is paraphrased from a “Morecambe & Wise” Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde sketch, they don’t often make me laugh, but this one is gold! Not so much "The Strange Case" as the "Overly Familiar Case". The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of those stories that practically everybody knows so few people bother to read the original text. The original Frankenstein and Dracula are also often neglected by readers for the same reason. This is a shame because these are great books and well worth reading, ( Frankenstein is particularly beautifully written). Clearly the inspiration for “Dr. Banner and Mr. Hulk”, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is, first and foremost, a damn fine horror story. If you ignore the fact that you already know all the plot points and just immerse yourself into Robert Louis Stevenson’s wonderfully atmospheric setting and prose. Imagine walking around a foggy London street in Victorian times, whistling some spooky tune, and suddenly — DUN-DUN-DUUUUN!!! — Mr. Hyde comes out of nowhere and whacks you on the head. The theme of the duality of human nature is not exactly vague since it takes on a such a physical manifestation. However, Stevenson leaves you to draw your own conclusion of whether Jekyll’s theory is valid. The story is also an allegory and a cautionary tale for inebriation (or getting wasted), and yielding to temptation in general. “Just one more pint” and you may find yourself whacking people in foggy London. Interestingly Dr. Jekyll is not as good a guy as many people may assume. The text clearly indicates that he is always up for a wild time, painting the town red, visiting houses of ill repute, and doing some serious S&M*. Besides, no decent gentleman is going to deliberately — and repeatedly — take drugs that turn him into a psychopath. Anyway, do give The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a read, it may be old hat, but it is a headwear never goes out of fashion. Try it on for size! Art by "MB-CG". _________________ * Not to be confused with M&S which is Marks & Spencer, where you can be fairly sure of non-mayhem. Notes: • Cool quote: "Will you be wise? will you be guided? will you suffer me to take this glass in my hand and to go forth from your house without further parley? or has the greed of curiosity too much command of you?" • There are several audiobook versions of this book on Librivox, I chose the one read by David Barnes, as he sounds suitably English. The narration is a little bit of a monotone, but nice and clearly read, and it's free so I can't complain. Thank you Mr. Barnes! • Are you reading this review in October? Definitely add it to your Halloween list! • If you like "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" check out The Bottle Imp by the same author. It is an awesome supernatural short story.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    "I learned to recognise the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both." As so often, my students gave me food for thought after I carelessly summed up the idea behind Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde and the duality of humankind, moving between animal brutality and intellectual sophistication. "But that is not true!" Of course I thought the "I learned to recognise the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both." As so often, my students gave me food for thought after I carelessly summed up the idea behind Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde and the duality of humankind, moving between animal brutality and intellectual sophistication. "But that is not true!" Of course I thought the next argument would be that people are not divided and that the story is exaggerated, and of course I was wrong. "People are not dual, they are multiple personalities, that idea is way to0 easy!" So the teacher in me stayed quiet for a moment and let the student and learner in me consider the piece of evidence presented to me by a learner-turned-teacher in front of me. Then I nodded. It's true, we are multiple, all of us, and we are much more versatile in our metamorphosis from one personality to another than Stevenson captured in his famous story. We don't even need to manipulate our organism to change - we do it instantly when we face another human being. In school, I am a certain person that completely disappears when I am a patient at a hospital, and my mother persona does not follow my body to the pub when I meet friends. My daughter persona actually acts in a much younger way than my default persona sitting in a reading chair imagining to be a character in a fiction story... And it is not only behaviour. Looks change too. Watch people queueing in a supermarket, and compare them to themselves at a wedding. Is it not a case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde? So I revise my idea of Stevenson's story, without liking it any less, and claim it is a simplification of the crowd we all carry in our minds, - the microcosm of thought we let loose on the macrocosm of other minds each day! My Goodreader persona could stay forever in front of the screen, but the coffee devil inside is yelling something animalistic about an addiction he's forced upon the community of minds that my tired Wednesday morning body is hosting! So we're off to the coffee machine!

  25. 5 out of 5

    James

    Book Review 4 out of 5 stars to The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde written in 1886 by Robert Louis Stevenson. So here's how naive I was years ago... and keep in mind I was an English major who loved the classics... I'd read some short stories about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as a teenager, maybe saw some video or tv versions.... can't quite remember. Sophomore year in college, this is listed on the assigned syllabus for one of my courses. And I'm like "I think there's a mistake. Book Review 4 out of 5 stars to The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde written in 1886 by Robert Louis Stevenson. So here's how naive I was years ago... and keep in mind I was an English major who loved the classics... I'd read some short stories about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as a teenager, maybe saw some video or tv versions.... can't quite remember. Sophomore year in college, this is listed on the assigned syllabus for one of my courses. And I'm like "I think there's a mistake. Stevenson wrote Treasure Island. He didn't create this mystery about a strange man." I couldn't separate that the author had different styles and stories. I don't know what I was thinking... maybe I had no sleep... point being, this was a turning point in literature for me, where I realized how an author could truly write very different novels. And both be great! For me, this was why I loved reading all the time. Drama. Intrigue. Mystery. Suspense. Crazy. Unique. Peculiar. It was everything my boring life wasn't at the time. I suspect most people don't realize this was a lengthy novel before it was a short work and a TV thing. It's a must read. Go. Now. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

  26. 4 out of 5

    SARA A. URIBE16

    Review in English and in Spanish This story is full of suspense, quite intriguing. I hope that those who have decided to read this great classic will also take the time to read even more about its author and how this novel arises for him and for the world we know today. The most interesting things for me is the game of the duality of human consciousness something that can be seen in Greek and Roman mythology, but in this time still full of dark light, declaring that we are a combination of black Review in English and in Spanish This story is full of suspense, quite intriguing. I hope that those who have decided to read this great classic will also take the time to read even more about its author and how this novel arises for him and for the world we know today. The most interesting things for me is the game of the duality of human consciousness something that can be seen in Greek and Roman mythology, but in this time still full of dark light, declaring that we are a combination of black and white and not one or the other. Love this story and I recommend it too. Esta historia esta llena de suspenso, bastante intrigante. Espero a su vez que los que hallan decidió leer este gran clásico se tomen el tiempo de leer aun mas de su autor y como surge esta novel para el y para el mundo que hoy conocemos. De las cosas mas interesantes para mi es el juego de la dualidad de la conciencia humana algo que se puede evidenciar en la mitología griega y romana, pero que atreves del tiempo sigue siendo la misma llena de claros oscuros, declarando que somos una combinación entre lo negro y lo blanco y no lo uno u lo otro. Ame esta historia y la recomiendo demasiado.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    I had hoped that a re-read would have increased my appreciation of this old, albeit classic, tale, but alas, I still just find it *okay*. I can't complain about the style because I've read a lot of Stevenson's contemporaries. I can't complain that it's not "fantastic or gruesome" enough, because it does have a certain low-level miasma of hysteria that works fine as a thriller. What I can and want to complain about is something that has annoyed me about these people from day one. The insistence I had hoped that a re-read would have increased my appreciation of this old, albeit classic, tale, but alas, I still just find it *okay*. I can't complain about the style because I've read a lot of Stevenson's contemporaries. I can't complain that it's not "fantastic or gruesome" enough, because it does have a certain low-level miasma of hysteria that works fine as a thriller. What I can and want to complain about is something that has annoyed me about these people from day one. The insistence that Evil is Written in People's Ugliness. I mean, jeeze, way to play up that prejudice, Stevenson! I mean, sure, the guy eventually got around to murdering someone, but for the most part, he was just letting down his hair, masturbating, visiting prostitutes and spitting on little old church ladies. Not in any particular order, mind you, and probably not all at the same time. This is a GUILTY PLEASURE novel of good ole repressed England. A "Oh my goodness I'm being so naughty aren't I a bad boy and wouldn't it be great if I could get away with this without ANY repercussions?" novel. Just because it upholds the majority moralistic lip-service in terms of evil getting its just deserts doesn't mean that the book didn't also represent a real and true undercurrent of rebellion. In fact, I'm sure it was seen and gloated over for just that reason. Hyde may be despicable, but he's also a rock-n-roller, a biker dude, and Trump. He just wants to see the world burn because the world has burned him. I can understand the popularity of this tale. I enjoyed it on both reads, too. BUT, I don't have to appreciate the pandering to the lowest prejudices of the time.

  28. 5 out of 5

    classic reverie

    Even though I have known about Jekyll and Hyde ever since I was a kid, and have seen Spencer Tracy in the 1941 film and have heard radio versions of this story and almost everyone knows it, I found the book more enlightening into Stevenson's desire to show the duel personality of the two but even more interesting is the acquiesce of Jekyll to the actions of Hyde with a kind of glee at first. Even after Hyde becomes more fiendish, Jekyll is not condoning but gives allowances to his behavior. In Even though I have known about Jekyll and Hyde ever since I was a kid, and have seen Spencer Tracy in the 1941 film and have heard radio versions of this story and almost everyone knows it, I found the book more enlightening into Stevenson's desire to show the duel personality of the two but even more interesting is the acquiesce of Jekyll to the actions of Hyde with a kind of glee at first. Even after Hyde becomes more fiendish, Jekyll is not condoning but gives allowances to his behavior. In the end the fear Jekyll has with losing himself completely makes him hope for the destruction of the monster. In the movie and radio version, the main character in telling of the story is Jekyll but in the book it is his two friends. Also in the movie Jekyll is young is engaged to Lana Turner and has Ingrid Bergman for Hyde to abuse, in the book no romance or lust is noted. When this book first was published it was all new to the public and I bet the majority were shocked about the transformation which is old hat to us now but Stevenson is genius in bringing out a look at human nature and how far does one want to sink into the depths of miasma. I did not read this edition but a collection of his works. Radio version https://www.oldtimeradiodownloads.com... Another radio version with 52 - 12 minute episodes https://www.oldtimeradiodownloads.com... Another version Theater Royal- September 13, 1954 #16 https://archive.org/details/OTRR_Thea... 💢💢 I finished listening to the radio version with 52 episodes and found it a well done radio series from 1943. I started to listen to the same producer's Frankenstein version which is about 12 episodes but that version not enjoyable but felt forced. In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, they expounded more on Hyde's evil deeds and Jekyll's relationship with others. I had trouble with the sympathy given to Jekyll after his friends find out that he is the monster but have more concern for his death then all the others he killed. At the beginning, they showed his evil side without that ghastly potion. They started to separate the two men in good/evil which really Jekyll was not all good, so this brings the importance of having an evil side unleashed in ourselves in a normal range but Hyde/Jekyll are one person so this person in his youth who had evil in him but now a saint. That makes it ring less true.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    The cabinets, purchased by his father, had been in his home for as long as young Robert could remember; nevertheless, he continued to wonder, staring at them from time to time. Not because they were fine examples of the cabinet-maker’s art—although indeed they were excellent cabinets—but because they had been crafted by the hands and the tools of the notorious Deacon Brodie. William “Deacon” Brodie had long been a household name in Scotland, particularly in Edinburgh, where young Robert Louis The cabinets, purchased by his father, had been in his home for as long as young Robert could remember; nevertheless, he continued to wonder, staring at them from time to time. Not because they were fine examples of the cabinet-maker’s art—although indeed they were excellent cabinets—but because they had been crafted by the hands and the tools of the notorious Deacon Brodie. William “Deacon” Brodie had long been a household name in Scotland, particularly in Edinburgh, where young Robert Louis Stevenson lived. He was known to his fellow citizens as a pillar of the community: a gifted and respected cabinet maker, the head (“deacon”) of the local cabinet-makers’ guild (“The Incorporation of Wrights”), and a member of the Edinburgh town council. But there was another side to Deacon Brodie, one he endeavored to hide. He kept two mistresses, supported five children, and was an inveterate gambler who loved nothing more than a good cockfight, a pack of cards, or a pair of dice. As he often found himself in need of money, he decided to supplement his daily income with a furtive night-time employment: he masterminded a gang of burglars who broke into the houses of Edinburgh. (Here his daytime trade came in handy, for a cabinet-maker—in Brodie’s day—was expected to be an accomplished locksmith as well.) Eventually the deacon was caught, and hanged for his crimes, on the same gallows—so the legend says—he had recently purchased on behalf of the town council. As he stared at his father’s old cabinets, young Robert Louis Stevenson contemplated the mystery of the cabinets’ maker: how could such an upright public man, he wondered, be a hidden slough of evil underneath? As a teenager, Stevenson wrote a dramatic fragment about the Deacon, and in his thirties—with the help of his friend W. E. Henley—turned that early effort into a play. But old Brodie continued to haunt our author until in 1885—after a vivid dream adorned with night-terrors—the deacon was transformed into the celebrated Dr. Jekyll and his nocturnal double Mr. Hyde. The ghost of Deacon Brodie and his two professions still hovers over Stevenson’s completed narrative, for the tale of that poor bifurcated gentleman Jekyll/Hyde is filled with: doors with limited access, doors that must be broken into, doors and drawers opened with mysterious keys, or else by locksmiths pressed into service, and drawers which must be taken from their cupboards and removed—contents and all—from their proper residences. Oh, and Jekyll’s medical theater features a small private room—home to the aforementioned cupboards and drawers—which is designated by the word the Victorians applied to such rooms: it is referred to as Dr. Jekyll’s “cabinet." And the structure of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde resembles a cabinet too. It consists of ten drawers—or chapters—the top eight of which each contains an isolated piece of lawyer Utterson’s reminiscences, and the bottom two the manuscripts which constitute the real “treasure” of the piece: the narrative of Jekyll’s mentor Dr. Lanyon, and the “statement” of Dr. Jekyll himself. It is an appropriate structure, after all, for the story of a man like Jekyll, who desired above all to maintain the purity of self by separating his identity into compartments: one drawer for the absolutely good Dr. Jekyll, and one drawer for the perfectly evil Mr. Hyde. It is also fitting—and ironic—that Dr. Jekyll eventually discovers that it was an unknown impurity in the original “salt” (chemical compound) that effected his transformation into Hyde, and therefore the reversal of the process is practically impossible. As Jekyll tells Lanyon in his concluding statement: My provision of the salt, which had never been renewed since the date of the first experiment, began to run low. I sent out for a fresh supply, and mixed the draught; the ebullition followed, and the first change of colour, not the second; I drank it and it was without efficiency. You will learn from Poole how I have had London ransacked; it was in vain; and I am now persuaded that my first supply was impure, and that it was that unknown impurity which lent efficacy to the draught. About a week has passed, and I am now finishing this statement under the influence of the last of the old powders. This, then, is the last time, short of a miracle, that Henry Jekyll can think his own thoughts or see his own face (now how sadly altered!) in the glass.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    This 70 page novelette is a load of old cobblers but very elegantly expressed cobblers. The main idea is that everyone has a bad side and a good side – Man is not truly one, but truly two And hey, maybe more for all I know, says Dr J I hazard the guess that man will be ultimately known for a mere polity of multifarious, incongruous and independent denizens. Got that, a mere polity. So I think he’s thinking of something like multiple personalities or sumpin. Now Dr J, being an upstanding wealthy This 70 page novelette is a load of old cobblers but very elegantly expressed cobblers. The main idea is that everyone has a bad side and a good side – Man is not truly one, but truly two And hey, maybe more for all I know, says Dr J I hazard the guess that man will be ultimately known for a mere polity of multifarious, incongruous and independent denizens. Got that, a mere polity. So I think he’s thinking of something like multiple personalities or sumpin. Now Dr J, being an upstanding wealthy individual, still and all, he has a bad side. It’s not made explicit, this being 1886, what that consists of, but we might possibly imagine it could be smoking opium, or taking cocaine, like Sherlock did (but he never classed that as a vice); or maybe visiting prostitutes of one or another sex, some of whom would surely be way under the age of consent, but that is pure speculation. Could be Dr Jeckyll’s bad side consisted of coughing during church services or not raising his top hat to a legless veteran. We don’t know, we’re not told, so our imaginations can run riot. So Dr J thinks it’s uncomfortable for the good and the bad side of a person to co-habit – that “in the agonized womb of consciousness these polar twins should be continuously struggling” as he puts it. He therefore invents a Magic Potion to enable them to separate. Here’s where the total cobblers comes in : I not only recognized my natural body for the mere aura and effulgence of certain of the powers that made up my spirit, but managed to compound a drug by which those powers should be dethroned from their supremacy, and a second form and countenance substituted, none the less natural to me because they were the expression, and bore the stamp, of lower elements in my soul. If anyone can translate that hifalutin mumbo jumbo into English please let me know. I would say that Dr J has a rather over-refined mode of expression at the best of times – this is him saying that all his servants were asleep: The inmates of my house were locked in the most rigorous hours of slumber Anyway, once Dr J had drunk of the potion and become the shrunken, hideous Mr H, he gets to go wild. But specifics are still hard to come by : The pleasures which I made haste to seek in my disguise were undignified; I would scarce use a harder term. But in the hands of Edward Hyde, they soon began to turn towards the monstrous. Well, that’s all you get. The only actual crimes we hear about are a motiveless street murder and a strange incident where he knocks a kid over in the street and “tramples” over her body. She isn’t injured, but a posse of angry citizens immediately forms and he is cornered and coughs up the sum of £100 in compensation. The internet tells me that this represents £11,500 in today’s money, which equals around $14,300. Wow, that’s a lotta dough for not looking where you’re going. But anyways, what is the point of all this?? Dr J is not trying to suppress his bad side, quite the reverse, he’s liberating it. His potion makes it easier to function. You might think that he’d want to invent a potion to completely eradicate his bad side, but no, it seems the idea is simply to continue to do bad things but be less bothered by them the next day. Really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I mean, was Dr J's ideal John Wayne Gacy? He seemed to be able to effortlessly combine the good side - successful builder, children's entertainer as Pogo the Clown - and the bad side - slaughterer of 33 teenaged boys. Didn't bother him at all, until he was arrested. I guess this novel is an expression of Victorian male guilt – the men wanted to be able to do as they pleased, but if they were middle-class, were hemmed in every which way by strict codes of conduct. (Four years later in 1890 Oscar Wilde published The Portrait of Dorian Gray which also explored the idea of being able to do anything without consequences.) Another odd thing I found in this little novel was that a middle-aged man living alone in central London would need a whole gaggle of servants headed up by a butler to get by. And that would be considered normal. Unless you’re a Saudi billionaire, times have really changed.

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