You know the story, don’t you? Or, perhaps you just think you know the story… because you know the characters – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde that is. I was always curious as to how the tale was actually told… and I was glad to find out.
It is a curiously simple tale… told at first from the perspective of Mr. Utterson – the respected lawyer and very good friend of the equally respected Dr. Jekyll. Mr. Utterson hears a tale of a recent horrible event near the home of his friend, and starts to investigate. He starts to believe that his friend may be in serious trouble and that the Dr’s friend Mr. Hyde is the villain.
The story unfolds and the truth is ultimately discovered – in the writing of Dr. Jekyll himself. This is a brilliant exploration into the good vs. evil duality that exists in all of us. Most of us are able to keep the balance of power with our “good” side….. and those that allow the “evil” side of their nature to take over most surely see their ultimate downfall because of it. Even though the basic premise of the story was familiar to me, I still got the chills and felt the horror as the details played out.
You know that I did not study Literature in any way while in college, so I am just enjoying reading this on my own, for reading’s own sake. This the the second book I’ve read for the Victorian Literature Challenge, and I am intrigued by a common “marker” if you will….. it seems to be widely accepted that an evil or sinful person will carry evidence of their misdeeds upon their faces. The more evil a person is – the more deformed or ugly a person appears. It’s an interesting concept, and I’ll look for more evidence of it in future reads.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Originally published 1886