The Strange Case of Doctor Jeckyll and Mr Hyde
“The Strange Case of Doctor Jeckyll and Mr Hyde” is the most famous novel written by Stevenson. It develops one of the most important themes of the Victorian Age: the double. The main character, in fact, is a man who has two personalities: Dr. Jekyll, a respectable man, and his doppelganger Mr. Hyde, an evil genius. The story is told by Mr. Utterson, a typical victorian man. It is based on the continuous struggle between good and evil: through the novel, in fact, the author wants to express the moral dichotomy of these two aspects. It reflects the main characteristics of the Victorian Age, an age of great contrasts: one hand it was a time of progress and social reforms, on the other hand it was characterized by hypocrisies and injustices.
So, the theme of the double, analyzed by Stevenson, represents the hypocrisy of Victorian people, who make good actions only to maintain the appearances. The double is a sort of alter ego that most of the times comes to dominate the subject. At the end of the novel, in fact, Hyde takes control of Dr. Jekyll. So, the man realizes that he can free himself from Hyde in only one way: by killing himself.
In addition to that, the story has a complex view of the relationship between body and mind, as mind and body are intricately linked. Stevenson develops the story with a defined structure: it is told in third person and the perspective adopted is internal; the story follows Mr. Utterson’s point of view and the settings and the characters are described in details.