THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The work is commonly known today as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, or simply Jekyll & Hyde. It is about a London lawyer named John Gabriel Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde.
As anyone who’s read old literature knows, the style of writing has changed dramatically over time. There is an obvious reason why the motto ‘show, don’t tell’ was adopted and this is a perfect example of why. So much of the story is told through hearsay. It is near impossible to really determine what actually happened, but we are just expected to believe what the characters say to be true. That being said, I did believe it. There was something in the particular tone of the writing and/or characters that made me believe every word.
It is quite interesting to reflect upon stories that once were. They are written very disjointed and disconnected, jumping from scene to scene and location to location, offering very little detail. Even the detail offered was not written in a manner as to be enjoyable or vivid. It was only offered as needed and the rest of the story focused on the characters.
I liked Dr. Jekyll. I liked Mr. Hyde. I wasn’t really a huge fan of the narrator, but that has more to do with how fully he follows the ideals of that particular time. His prejudices and personal opinions were very obvious and annoying. I also wasn’t sure he was the best narrator for the story, but oh well. Perhaps this, too, was a style thing of days long past.
I was very satisfied with the ending of this story. It was not quite what I expected, having never heard the true tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and knowing only adaptations. That being said, I thought it quite fitting for the story and the style in which the story was told. No doubt it has plenty of remnants of the time period as well.
The fact the Dr. Jekyll ended up giving into his darkness and enjoying it and coming back to it even after his Jekyll conscience told him it was wrong, was very refreshing. I like that the darkness calls to us. I like that people are two halves: good and bad, but one still has power over the other and they are still of the same person. For Dr. Jekyll to give in and Mr. Hyde to do so as well was very well done.