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Stevenson, Robert Louis-"The strange case of dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde"


Plot

The novel consists in 10 chapters.
Dr Jekyll is a respectable doctor and scientist who is obsessed with the conflict between the good side and the evil side of his personality. He wants to get rid of his negative half. He prepares a potion and drinks it, but the result is exactly the opposite. As a matter of fact, he turns into a short, horrid and evil man, Mr. Hyde. Mr. Hyde is also violent and cruel and he commits many crimes. For example, during one of their walks, the lawyer Mr. Utterson and his cousin Mr. Enfield witness an act of cruelty committed by Mr. Hide against a little girl. When Dr Jekyll wants to turn back into his usual self, all he has to do is to drink the potion again. During the day, Dr Jekyll leaves from the front door of his house, while at night, when he turns into Mr. Hyde, he leaves from the back door.
However, Dr Jekyll loses control over Mr. Hyde; as a matter of fact, he doesn’t need the potion anymore to turn into Hyde. Dr Jekyll locks himself in his laboratory and kills himself. He leaves a long letter which is a sort of spiritual will. In this letter he explains what has happened to him and leaves all his goods to Mr. Hyde.

Characters

Dr Jekyll: he’s a respectable doctor and scientist and decides to try to separate his good side from his evil side trough some experiments. However, the result he gets is different from his expectations, since he creates Mr. Hyde, who embodies his negative half.
Mr. Hyde: he’s short, ugly and wicked. His disgusting physical appearance mirrors his low morality and his cruelty. As a matter of fact Hyde is willing to commit any sort of crime.
Mr. Utterson: he’s a lawyer and he’s fair, serious, fond to justice and strict. He embodies the obsession with rational explanations and the refusal of supernatural of the Victorian society.
Mr. Enfield: he’s a cousin of Mr. Utterson. They usually take walks on Sundays without talking to each other.
Dr Lanyon: he’s a former friend and colleague of Dr. Jekyll and together with Mr. Utterson he embodies rationalism and materialism.
Mr. Poole: he’s Jekyll’s loyal and faithful butler. As he understands that something is wrong with his master he leads Utterson to break down the door of his laboratory. They find the dead body of Hyde wearing Jekyll’ s clothes and a letter from Jekyll to Utterson, where he promises to explain him everything.
Mr. Guest: he’s Utterson clerk and an expert of handwriting. He finds out a particular resemblance between an invitation card written by Jekyll and a farewell note left by Hyde.

Themes
Man’s double personality: man embodies good and evil and the conflict between these two opposite sides may bring about his self-destruction.

The double side of the moral standards of the Victorian age.
The different and often contradictory pieces that made up man’s personality, which announces the age of psychoanalysis.

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