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Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

SPOILERS

Added Tue, 19/01/2021
Release date
05-01-1886
Original title
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Феномены
References

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a Gothic novel (sometimes called a novel) by the Scottish writer Robert Stevenson, published on 5 January 1886 in London.

By genre, the work is a reinterpretation of the traditional romanticism and Gothic novel theme of doppelgangers from the angle of emerging science fiction, in which the sinister doppelganger gets free rein thanks to the split personality of the main character, caused by the synthesized hero of the story with a new drug.

The prototype of the main character was the famous Scottish criminals who led a double life: Thomas Weir and William Brodie, and the general background – urban legends and historical landscapes of Edinburgh.

The tradition of this media image began to enter after the release of the not very successful film adaptation of Victor Flemming in 1941 and the parody picture "Abbott and Costello meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde". The Hulk comics also influenced the popularization in English-language media and animation. However, unlike the Hulk, in the book, Edward Hyde is a short and thin, at the same time agile man, much younger than Henry Jekyll, who also has increased hair on his face and hands. After the transformation from Jekyll, the clothes become too big for him.

In the behavior of Hyde described by Stevenson, one can trace the aftereffects of drug abuse and the features of personality degradation in the light of the popular interpretation of the theories of Morel and Lombroso at the end of the XIX century.

It's interesting 

The prototype of the main character in the Gothic novella (sometimes called a novel) "The Strange Story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (English "Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", 1886) by the Scottish writer Robert Stevenson became famous Scottish criminals who led a double life: Thomas Weir and William Brody, and the general background – urban legends and historical landscapes of Edinburgh.

The story is told in the third person, through a third-party observer-notary Gabriel John Utterson. In London, strange events occur: a certain demonic man named Edward Hyde, who inspires an inexplicable disgust to everyone who communicates with him, commits a series of disgusting, cruel and senseless acts. Among other things, he is wanted on suspicion of the murder of MP Danvers Carew. It turns out that Hyde is somehow closely related to the well-respected Dr. Henry Jekyll. Hyde occasionally appears at his house, and the servants are instructed to do all his requests. Moreover, the doctor writes a will in which, in the event of his death or long-term disappearance, he leaves his entire fortune to Hyde.

One day, Dr. Jekyll locks himself in his office, refusing to be seen, communicating with the household in an unnatural voice. The doctor's servants assume that the criminal Hyde killed the doctor and, unable to leave the doctor's house, passes himself off as the murdered man. Poole, the butler, turns to Utterson, and they break down the door, only to find Hyde dying in the room, having taken a lethal dose of poison. They don't find Jekyll's body.

In a posthumous letter received by Utterson, Dr. Jekyll confesses that he has come to the scientific discovery that several aspects of the same personality exist simultaneously in the human psyche, and that the human being as such is the product of the simultaneous combined action of all these personalities. Jekyll himself had led a double life for many years, one as a respectable scientist and the other as a libertine. As a result of a failed scientific experiment with mixing different drugs, he was able to find a way to allow his negative self to temporarily take over the dominant position. Mr. Hyde, who commits monstrous crimes – is the same Dr. Jekyll, in whom his evil principle gained power and could safely sin in a different shell. However, the doctor stopped controlling the process of his transformation into Hyde, which led him to despair and death.

Phenomena in artwork: Werewolf

Respected in society, Dr. Henry Jekyll synthesizes a new drug, after taking it, he turns from a famous philanthropist, a kind and decent gentleman into a demonic man named Edward Hyde, who inspires an inexplicable disgust to everyone who communicates with him. Jekyll himself explains the appearance of Hyde by the fact that two opposite entities have always coexisted in him, and the substance synthesized by him allowed the dark side of him to be released, drowning out the good and decent. He says that this duality is inherent in all people.

The evil in my nature, to which I had transferred the ability to create an independent shell, was less strong and less developed than the good I had just rejected. On the other hand, the very way of my life, which consisted of nine-tenths of work, good deeds, and self-control, condemned the evil in me to inactivity and thus preserved its strength. That is why, I think, Edward Hyde was shorter, slimmer, and younger than Henry Jekyll. And if the face of one breathed good, the face of the other bore a clear and sweeping stroke of evil. In addition, evil (which I still cannot but recognize as the destructive side of human nature) has left an imprint of ugliness and rottenness on this image.

[ ... ] if I had ventured this experiment while in the grip of noble or pious feelings, things might have turned out differently, and out of the agony of death and rebirth, I would have risen as an angel, not a devil. The remedy itself had no selective power, it was neither divine nor satanic, it only opened the prison of my inclinations, and, like the prisoners in Philippi, the one who stood at the door burst out. The good in me was then dormant, and the evil was awake, awakened by vanity, and hastened to seize the opportunity. So there was Edward Hyde.

Mr. Hyde is described in the book as a pale and squat (sometimes even referred to as the "evil dwarf") man with great strength. At the same time, Hyde's handwriting is the exact opposite of his appearance: it is smooth and straight, and the only difference from Dr. Jekyll's handwriting was the slope.

The Butler describes the difference between Jekyll and Hyde as follows:

[ ... ] it was some kind of creature, and not my master, at least I'm ready to swear. My master" - here he glanced back and lowered his voice to a whisper- " my master is tall and well-built, and he was almost a dwarf...

A notary who meets Hyde compares him to a troglodyte and claims that there is nothing human about him:

[...] he gave the impression of a freak, although there was no obvious ugliness in him, he smiled extremely unpleasantly, his manner with the notary was somehow unnaturally timid and at the same time insolent, and his voice was hoarse, quiet and broken. All this spoke against him, but all this, taken together, could not explain why Mr. Utterson felt a hitherto unknown repugnance, disgust, and fear.

[ .. ] the blackness of the soul peeps through the perishable shell and transforms it terribly? Yes, yes, my poor, poor Harry Jekyll, the mark of Satan is clearly visible on the face of your new friend.

The transformation of Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde is described only by the doctor's feelings:

At once I felt an excruciating pain, an ache in my bones, a painful nausea, and a horror such as no man can experience either at the hour of birth or at the hour of death. Then the agony abruptly ceased, and I came to myself as if from a serious illness. All my feelings somehow changed, became new, and therefore indescribably sweet. I was younger, my whole body was permeated with a pleasant and happy lightness, I felt a reckless carelessness, a whirlwind of disordered sensual images raced in my imagination, the bonds of duty broke and no longer constrained me, my soul found a previously unknown freedom, but far from serene innocence. With the first breath of this new life, I realized that I had become a more vicious, incomparably more vicious slave to the evil that lurked in me, and at that moment this thought strengthened and intoxicated me like wine. I stretched out my arms, enjoying the unfamiliar sensation, and then suddenly realized that I was much shorter.

The reverse transformation is described as follows:

There was a short cry, and he swayed, staggered, clutched at the table, looking straight ahead with bloodshot eyes, gasping for air with his mouth open; and then I noticed that he was changing... it feels like it's getting bigger... his face suddenly turned black, his features blurred, transformed, and the next moment I jumped up, recoiled against the wall and raised my hand, shielding myself from this vision, losing my mind with horror.

"Oh, my God! I cried out, and went on saying, "My God!" for before me, pale, exhausted, weak, and groping with my hands like a man raised from the dead, stood Henry Jekyll!

Both of Jekyll's natures share a common memory, but all their other properties are distributed very unevenly between them.

Jekyll (a composite nature) Sometimes with a fearful trepidation, sometimes with a greedy relish, he felt himself a participant in Hyde's pleasures and adventures, but Hyde was indifferent to Jekyll and remembered him as a mountain robber remembers the cave in which he hides from his pursuers. Jekyll had more than a father's interest in Hyde. Hyde responded with more than filial indifference.


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