Compare Contrast Essay
"Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde" (1885) written by Robert Louis Stevenson, and the poem "The Buried Life" (1822) written by Matthew Arnold are two stories which deal with the conception of humanity as dual in nature. In "Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde", Jekyll attempts to suppress and hide his dark half, Edward Hyde. In "The Buried Life", the persona speaks in a dissatisfied state of mind about surfaces and depths, of the masks we chose to disguise our true selves with, and about appearances and reality. From the paranoid, secretive tone in "Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde", to the more melancholic, frustrated, and realistic tone of "The Buried Life", we see how common elements of the duality of man are both represented, yet shown in different ways.
In both pieces, the superficial trivialities brought about by society as a whole frustrates the persona and Dr.
Jekyll, yet affects them in different ways. In "The Buried Life," we see the miserable persona that wants to rely on love, though questioning the efficacy of it, as the only part of life that can give meaning and feeling to existence. In the first stanza, we see that the persona's attempts to express what is most important to him are extremely difficult and traumatizing. It is easy to work with the simple surface truths that are so necessary to psychic and physical survival, but there is a part of it which seems as though something is being avoided or that something is untrue. "With tears mine eyes are wet!" (Arnold, 2) he says, because he feels "a nameless sadness," (Arnold, 3) being unable to accept the superficial trivialities that are central to his life. In "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", this tentative control brought about...