The duality of human nature is both good and evil and must be balanced to prevent one from taking over the other as Hyde did Jekyll. The struggles between our good and evil nature as human beings defines who we are, just like Jekyll defines our good and righteous side and Hyde defines our evil desires. Stevenson shows us that man cannot simply separate ourselves but must balance the struggles of good and evil to prevail.
Unfortunately, Jekyll’s separation of his good and evil personalities did not equal out, it only allowed for his evil side to gain control. It created a strain between the personalities, a battle or war between the two, Jekyll versus Hyde. Jekyll represents all that is good and respectable, and Hyde represents all that is pure evil (Stevenson, 55). The horrible crimes that Hyde had committed left Jekyll sickened, and he now felt that Between these two, I now felt I had to choose. (Stevenson, 59) The struggle between Jekyll and Hyde are struggles that all men go through, but with our actions we chose to be good or evil. Jekyll chose the better part (Stevenson, 60) of his personality, and rid himself of Hyde by suicide. George Eliot, in Silas Marner, believes that good wins the battle over evil, and that each gets what he deserves in life by the decisions we make and how we act. Jekyll’s good side won, but not without the consequences of death, due to Hyde’s crimes and evil doings.
Dr. Jekyll’s fascination with his personalities, the good and the evil side of himself, which he feels all mankind struggle with, leads Jekyll to believe that man is not truly one, but truly two (Stevenson, 52). By human nature, good and evil are inseparable, in other words, you can’t have one without the other. Stevenson realizes this by stating in Jekyll’s case that he learned the duality of man and knows that he is radically both (Stevenson, 53). Jekyll’s dominant personality is good, but he knows the evil that resides inside of him and wants it out. As a respected doctor in Victorian times, Jekyll can’t act on his immoral desires, due to ruining his reputation, so he wanted to find a way to separate his good upright personality from evil desires.
Good and evil resides in every human personality, it’s the actions you take that determines if one is good or evil. Dr. Jekyll’ s fascination with the dual personalities of man leads him to go to drastic measures to separate the two. Jekyll feels that by having good and evil confined to the other is a constant struggle. Jekyll does not express his immoral side in the public’s eye, until he decides to separate the two personalities by using a potion. By consuming the potion, his dark side comes to life, becoming transformed into the hideous, disgusting, evil Mr. Hyde, leading Jekyll to realize that separation of the two natures was a mistake. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, written by Robert Louis Stevenson, reveals that good is not separated from evil but connected by the struggle of personalities within the all men, which must be balanced.
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