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Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde

Page history last edited by Kathy Proctor 12 years, 8 months ago



I was surprised that so many people "hated" this book.  Wonder why?  Please post reactions to the book, the Facebook link, and/or to the following issues and questions:


What is a doppelganger, and how is this term evident in this novella?

For fun, you could also look at the following link:  http://www.findmydoppelganger.com/


The theory that has most influenced interpretations of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is Sigmund Freud's theory of repression.  According to Freud, repression is a process by which unacceptable desires or impulses are excluded from consciousness and left to operate in the unconscious.  Only by such means as psychoanalysis, dream analysis, or hypnosis can the repressed desires or impulses be brought to light and examined.  From a psychoanalytic point of view, Henry Jekyll, outwardly a respectable doctor, has repressed his desires to live a life of vice and forbidden activities.  Stevenson hints at Jekyll's wild youth and secret desires.  Jekyll's need for respectability keeps him from openly admitting and pursuing his desires, and the resulting conflict between what he secretly wants and hwat he feels his position in society requires of him causes a mental disorder.

Hmm...interesting stuff.


One critic has written, "Without Jekyll, there could never have been a Hyde; without Hyde, one can never fully know Jekyll."  Do you agree with this statement?  Why or why not?


Like Victor Frankenstein, the scientist in Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll pushes beyond the boundaries of the scientific knowledge of his time.  What drives people to explore the unknown?  Did Henry Jekyll go too far?

Comments (14)

Kathy Proctor said

at 6:30 pm on Oct 30, 2010

Check out the facebook link; it's funny.

Monica Nguyen said

at 1:51 pm on Nov 17, 2011

I entirely agree with that statement because how could have Hyde existed without Jekyll having possessed and created him? Hyde was Jekyll's hidden desires and ambitions; a physical form of the evil that every person possess within themselves. Hyde was part of the truth in Jekyll and without Hyde, one couldn't ever really guess what type of person hid under Jekyll's "good guy" stereotype. Jekyll and Hyde were the dual personality that first made up Jekyll as a whole before he decided to separate them.

Curiosity is what drives most people to explore the unknown. Curiosity killed the cat and it was the same factor that killed Jekyll and Hyde in the end. Curiosity was what Jekyll was feeling, wanting to separate himself to fulfill his hidden desires that at the time were probably too taboo to even speak of. He wanted to know what it was like to go along with his desires while being worry free. Unfortunately, he got exactly what he was looking for. Jekyll definitely went too far, even if it was just for scientific exploration. To the point of messing around with how nature made things and then having death resulted in the end was just morally wrong. Trying to split himself was allowing the inner demon to take him over. That was much too far for any human to try to do.

Kathy Proctor said

at 2:47 pm on Nov 21, 2011

Preach it!

Morgan Kennedy said

at 2:46 pm on Nov 17, 2011

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was one of the most interesting books I've ever read. Dr. Jekyll had the perfet life, the perfect reputation and he was well known in the community, what I dont understand is why he picked this type of actions to escape his "perfect life" im sure he could have found other ways to have fun or adventure. this book was a really good one but i made me realize how people can become controlled by a drug like Dr.Jekyll. This book was a fun reader but also a life lesson.

Kathy Proctor said

at 2:48 pm on Nov 21, 2011

I'm surprised you liked this one, Morgan. I was worried that you wouldn't like any other book after Lord of the Flies because you had liked Piggy so much. Good job!

Haley Greenleaf said

at 7:24 pm on Nov 17, 2011

I really enjoyed reading Dr. Jekyll and Mister Hyde. It was one that I'm gunna go buy and keep forever to add to my personal library hahah. Henry Jekyll's Full Statement of the Case was my favorite chapter because of how thought provoking all of his observations and experiences were, fictional or not. I think a lot of lessons could be learned from this book! Last year when I saw all the other students reading it, i didn't think it'd be good; I've learned not to judge a book by it's cover. (: Yes; I agree with that statement fully because Jekyll and Hyde utterly completed each other. Hyde was the complete evil conscience of Jekyll, so essentially, they were one of the same (is that the right phrase?).

Kathy Proctor said

at 2:48 pm on Nov 21, 2011

Bravo, Haley!

Maryanna Newton said

at 6:32 pm on Nov 18, 2011

At the beginning I wasn't very drawn to the book, but once the plot thickened I began to really get into it. It made me think a lot about the personality "sides" of myself as well as others. I learned a lot about myself and thought pretty introspectively about my personality and actions. The book is a really intriguing story that provoked some serious thinking. The doppelgänger technique also got met thinking a lot about how it really does apply in the real world too, as well as a lot of superheroes and other popular stories. What really caught me off guard was that I got to my babysitting job tonight and the kids wanted to watch scooby-doo and it was an episode called Dr.jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but it's about his grandson and the ghost of Hyde. Kind of ironic?

Kathy Proctor said

at 2:49 pm on Nov 21, 2011

Oh, wow, that WAS an ironic situation! And didn't you feel smart for "getting" the whole allusion...even if in a Scooby Doo episode? :-)

Maggie Shows said

at 9:30 am on Nov 19, 2011

I liked this book, and yet I didn't at the same time. It was a very slow read, and the fact that I had other, far more interesting books around me at the time, made it very hard to sit down and read this book. I like the plot, somewhat, and I definitely like the overall idea of the book, particularly the personal accounts of Lanyon and Jekyll. I wish that we had been privy to some of the things that Jekyll did whilst Hyde, but unfortunately the period of time that this book was written in made that impossible. I think the book would have been a lot more interesting if it, like the movie, went into scenes that followed Hyde about as he did the things he did.

I did come away from the book with one puzzling question. Why did the potion only separate the BAD side of Jekyll? If he's using the same potion to restore himself to his normal self, then I don't see why the potion could not have also separated the inherently good side of him, the side that has none of those temptations, just as Hyde had none of Jekyll's ambitions. I think the book would have had a lot more to it if Jekyll had had to struggle with whether or not to stop separating his good side from himself, or to accept that it was better than him and allow everything that made him him slip into oblivion. The choice would have been much harder on him, I think, and I would really have rather read something like that.

Kathy Proctor said

at 2:53 pm on Nov 21, 2011

Hmmm...interesting ideas, Mags. For Jekyll, though, I think the whole experiment was a selfish way for him to be bad when he wanted to be and then to be himself (a self that was neither completely good nor evil) when he had to be around others and keep up appearances.

Haley Skinner said

at 3:33 pm on Nov 20, 2011

Unlike everyone else, I didn't really enjoy reading Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I was pretty confused from the very beginning and I had a hard time getting into it. I couldn't understand why Dr. Jekyll would want to escape his "perfect life." I mean he was a well-known person and a prestigious doctor, why would he want to change anything about that? The book made me realize that I need to cherish myself just the way I am and never want to be anything but myself. The lesson behind the entire book was better than the actual book itself if you ask me.

Kathy Proctor said

at 2:54 pm on Nov 21, 2011

I agree, Haley. I don't necessarily like the style of the book (the vocabulary often gets in the way of the plot, to me), but I love the ideas it presents. I think the sentence about man being "not one, but two" is quite true for all of us.

Brittany Carson said

at 3:50 pm on Nov 21, 2011

i really thought i liked this book but i guess i didnt like it as much as i thought according to my test grade. i understood mostly everything that happened in the book from the little girl getting trampled over the drugs the multiple personalities and all that although the vocab wasn't my cup of tea. i guess i just didnt pay closed attetion to the little things in the book because i did ready this book.

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