"The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Essay by ditzydorkHigh School, 10th gradeA+, August 2003

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Society has such a profound control over man and his nature. "Man is born evil; at birth, he is born with an evil nature, inclined to hurt, murder, rob, rape, and steal. However, it is society which controls his evil instincts. Without these, men would be (and often becomes) a violent, evil animal." This quote implies that man is born with an evil side, but society helps control the evil nature through social restrictions and laws. Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde agrees with this quote. Through the characterization of Jekyll and Hyde, and the theme of man being born with an evil side that is controlled by society, the relation to the quote becomes evident.

In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the characterizations of Jekyll and of Hyde agree with the quote. In Victorian Society, people held certain expectations of the characterization of a Victorian Gentleman.

The Victorian Gentlemen was to be well behaved and reserved. Reputations were extremely important as were social affairs. Dr. Jekyll perfectly fits the description. "..one of your fellows who do what they call good. Black mail I suppose; an honest man paying through the nose for some of the capers of his youth .." is written on page 5. Here, Jekyll is characterized as good and honest, which are two favored qualities of the ideal gentlemen. Hyde, on the other hand, was the total opposite of Jekyll. On page 7, Enfield attempts to describe Hyde to Utterson, "There is something wrong with his appearance; something displeasing; something down-right detestable.." From Hyde's appearance alone, he was despised and set as an outcast to Victorian society. This was not the only contrast between Jekyll and Hyde. Society was able to control Jekyll from steering towards bad intentions in...