Vaughn HajraWilson English 1012 January 2018Jekyll and Hyde, Good and EvilPope Francis said “Each of us has a vision of good and of evil…. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them”. In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, two main characters are concrete representations of good and evil and there is no grey area which is found in many books or movies. Robert Louis Stevenson uses the characterization of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to develop the allegory of good versus evil. The first example of this is when Enfield is telling Utterson about Hyde running a little girl over in “The story of the door”, and how Hyde is often described like an animal. Another example of this is how people react to Dr. Jekyll. Finally, the allegory of good versus evil can be proven through Jekyll and Hyde’s assumed actions when they died. The reader’s first introduction to the character Edward Hyde comes in the very first chapter of the book when Enfield is telling the narrator, John Gabriel Utterson, a story about a little girl getting run over by Hyde. As Enfield tries to describe Hyde, he says “There is something wrong with his Hyde’s appearance; something displeasing,  something downright detestable” (Stevenson 7). Before Utterson even meets Hyde and speaks with him, Stevenson is already putting an idea of an evil figure in the reader’s mind. Later in the story, Hyde is often described as having animalistic traits, for example when he hisses at Utterson when they first meet in the street (Stevenson 14). Another example of the characterization of Hyde supporting the analogy of good versus evil was when he beat Carew to death. Stevenson shows this when he wrote: “Mr. Hyde broke out of all bounds and clubbed him with ape-like fury, he was trampling his victim under foot and hailing down a storm of blows” (Stevenson 23). Hyde again was compared to an animal, albeit in a much more extreme way. As the story progresses, Hyde continues to embody pure evil and becomes even more so, up until the climax. With a mix of how others think of Hyde and the way Utterson describes Hyde, the reader can tell that Robert Louis Stevenson is successfully trying to portray Edward Hyde as the ultimate evil. Mr. Hyde is the first character introduced that is part of the allegory “good versus evil”, and soon after, Dr. Jekyll is also introduced. Dr. Jekyll first comes off as a scholarly, well-respected man who also happens to be a close friend of the narrator, Gabriel Utterson. In the analogy of good versus evil, Jekyll plays the role of the “good”. The main way the characterization of Jekyll plays into the analogy is how people react to him. The first instance of this is when Utterson hears the name of the check that Mr. Hyde gives to the girl’s family in “The Story of the Door”. Enfield says of Dr. Jekyll’s name “it was a name at least very well known and very often printed”, and that he had “every reason to believe it was forgery” (Stevenson 5). This gives the reader the impression that not only is Mr. Hyde evil but that Dr. Jekyll is quite the opposite. When he says this, it is one of the very first occurrences hinting at the analogy of good versus evil by noting that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were very opposite in manner. Another example of the characterization of Dr. Jekyll supporting the analogy of good versus evil was how Poole had the ultimate trust in Dr. Jekyll, saying, “do you think I do not know my master after twenty years? Do you think I do not know where his head comes to in the cabinet door, where I saw him every morning of my life? No, sir, that thing in the mask was never Dr. Jekyll–God knows what it was, but it was never Dr. Jekyll” (Stevenson 47) in an effort to convince Utterson that Dr. Jekyll could never be evil like Hyde and that the person he saw in his house was the extreme evil. The characterization of Dr. Jekyll, especially how people reacted to him, supported the analogy of good versus evil by making him seem good and making the difference between him and Mr. Hyde very obvious. Jekyll killing himself can be seen as good trying to defeat evil, and Hyde trying to take control of the body could be seen as evil trying to fight back. Unlike most stories, Jekyll killing himself was an act of desperation, and the last hope of good defeating evil. This can be seen as the climax, with Jekyll committing one final good act and Hyde fighting through the end supporting the idea of good vs evil through their actions. Later on, in “Henry Jekyll’s Full Statement of the Case” the reader learns that the power struggle was greater than initially thought, “if I ever slept, or even dozed for a moment in my chair, it was always as Hyde that I awakened” (Stevenson 81). This is when Jekyll started to realise that he was fighting a losing battle and had no hope of taking full control of his mind and body.  The ending two chapters tell the tale of Jekyll, the good, making a noble sacrifice to stop Hyde, the evil, in his tracks. In conclusion, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was an allegory of good versus evil, shown through the characterization of Edward Hyde and Henry Jekyll. Hyde portrayed the ultimate evil, growing as the story progressed. Jekyll was in turn the good, trying to stop this evil known as Edward Hyde to the end. To this end, good and evil clashed, leaving neither winning but with the evil subdued, not without sacrifice. Good and evil are often spoken of, but very rarely is there such absolute good and evil like there is in Jekyll and Hyde.

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