The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

by on March 11, 2019 under , , ,

I’ve always been curious about this classic suspense. I started this story knowing the premise and who the elderly Dr Jekyll and young Mr Hyde were. But I’ve never seen it in writing, at how does the author potray such duality of nature in a character.

What surprised me was that the story was from the perspective of Dr Jekyll’s lawyer. All the while I had thought it would be told from the strange doctor’s point-of-view. The story was more of a novella, concise only within ten chapters.

The deal about reading classics is that you can’t expect it to be structured like today’s modern novel. And people talked differently back then. It took me a while to get to the flow of the words, trying to understand its context. Perhaps doing so, the suspense is lost on me. And also perhaps because I already knew who is who. So it wasn’t a surprise to see the expected ending.

The author did bring out the theme of the duality nature of human beings - one being the good and the evil. That succumbing to the evil side no matter how free one might feel, being almost totally someone else, in the end, evil doesn’t win. Evil brings about tragedy as such were the fate of Dr Jekyll.

But at the end of it I find it sad rather than abhorred by it as the lawyer probably was. All the doctor wanted was to be free of society’s expectations and perhaps be who he wanted to be. But having keeping perhaps envy, regret and guilt, he developed a persona so grosteque. I related well to Dr Jekyll’s pressure to follow societal norms. Giving in to that other dark nature also have led to experimentation that led to bad consequences. But at least I didn’t truly drink a concoction.

Classics difficult as they are to read, I’ve enjoyed the descriptive prose, allowing me to be with the lawyer as he investigated the strange being of Mr. Hyde and the recluse behaviour of the once sociable Dr Jekyll. However, unlike today’s modern novel, the plot and characters weren’t developed. But perhaps in doing so, the author is giving leeway to the readers’ imagination when the story ended. Questions we asked and we answer them in our own imagination possibly giving quite a terrifying scenes in our own minds. Because I can tell you, it did that to me as the more I tried to understand the story by my own terms. As I become curious wanting to be developed, the story formed itself in my own head creating my own adaptation of this strange tale.

Perhaps that’s why this classic is infamous to this day.

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