The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Goodreads Synopsis: The gripping novel of a London lawyer who investigates strange occurrences surrounding his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and the misanthropic Mr. Edward Hyde. The work is known for its vivid portrayal of a split personality, split in the sense that within the same person there is both an apparently good and an evil personality each being quite distinct from the other…
Though I’ve heard this story, (or the general idea anyway), I had never read it until this weekend. The description calls it a novel, but I’d be more ready to call it a novella, since it is so short.
Since I knew the general plot of the story, I was waiting to finally see what no one else knew yet (similar to how I felt about Dracula. Vampires were a new concept when the book was written so I could understand people gripped in suspense, but to me I knew exactly what was going on and was waiting for the characters to catch up. But I digress…)
It was a short and entertaining read and makes one ponder about our “other selves.”
“man is not truly one, but truly two” (p 78)
It is easy to see how this can be a scary story of good and evil because, let’s face it, we’ve all felt that there is a darker side to our beings, haven’t we? (Not necessarily to the extent of murder but still another side that may have chosen the “wrong” path when faced with a situation but our morals overcome those thoughts…am I making sense?)
It is always interesting for me to read “science fiction” like this written back in the 1800s. It’s really incredible to see what the imaginations of these authors were like way before any of the technology we have today. And for some of the things to still be unavailable to us at this day and age is even more remarkable. Just look at anything by H. G. Wells or Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, for example.
One thing I was disappointed in was not returning to Utterson after he read the explanations from both Doctors Lanyon and Jekyll. He was the main character from the get-go, well the main point of view for the whole novel, so I expected to see some kind of reaction from him at the end. I guess I expected there to be more to the story. The length was surprising. It is such a popular and lasting one that I expected it to be much longer. Though the last line is a really great, but sad, one.