Good and evil: Jekyll and Hyde
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde presents an interesting tale of an individual struggle between good and evil. At the same time, it presents the story of a man struggling with his own perceptions of himself as a charlatan, hence the need to create an alter ego. Dr. Jekyll, due to his lack of surity over who he is and how to deal with his suppressed evil nature concocts a potion he believes will suppress the emotions he feels are unworthy (Swearingen 37). However, the potion backfires and actually serves to bring out his worst uncontrollable self. At the same time, it is perhaps plausible to argue that Dr. Jekyll is most complete but inadvertently unhealthy when he transforms into Mr. Hyde.
This is based on the fact that it is the only time Dr. Jekyll is truly himself; his complete, evil unrestricted self and not in conflict with himself. Further, Mr. Hyde is not only sharper and smarter than Dr. Jekyll, but he is also younger and better looking, suggesting that Mr. Hyde is healthier. Although his actions as Mr. Hyde suggest that he is less than healthy. Mr. Hyde operates without inhibitions, making him very dangerous even if complete. The actions of Mr. Hyde confirm that Dr. Jekyll’s incompleteness and inhibitions are what made him rational and healthy (Linehan 48).
Whereas Dr. Jekyll felt an incompleteness, hence the need to search for a potion that he though would make him complete by removing the conflict he constantly felt, it was this sense of incompleteness that made him a healthy human being, as it acted as a voice of reason, enabling him distinguish between good and evil, hence making him healthy (Stevenson 26).
Linehan, Kathrine (ed.). Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Norton Critical Edition, 2003. Print.
Stevenson, Robert. Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. London: Longman Green and Co., 1886. Web.
Swearingen, Roger G. The Prose Writings of Robert Louis Stevenson. London: Macmillan, 1980. Web.