I admit, I tried picking up this book couple of times. But the very first page swallowed my brain and I am left there staring blankly on it. I don’t know but I can comprehend the words written, like it is a word salad! I was thinking I should watch the movie adaptations instead of reading it but no, I remembered that books-turned-into-movies suck, I have to read it so not to miss also any memorable scenes that are always forgotten to include in. So this time, I challenged myself to read this less-100-page book this week and because it is almost Halloween, I want to scare myself. So reading this intimidating book turned ALRIGHT and it really SCARED the hell out of me. Though this story has been retold everywhere, from books reviews to movies, I have the idea that these two person are the same person. I was like, ‘huh? is this the oldest case of Multiple Personalities before Sybil and Billy Milligan?’. These cases are twisted, and sometimes I wonder how these transformations happen – especially when the changes or transformations are not only mentally, but also PHYSICALLY! That’s wicked. Does science or medicine already have explanation on this? I never had chance to read thesis about this yet.
“‘O God!’ I screamed, and ‘O God!’ again and again; for there before my eyes–pale and shaken, and half fainting, and groping before him with his hands, like a man restored from death–there stood Henry Jekyll!“
– Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Chapter 9
This is the 1887 stage adoption of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Mr. Richard Mansfield. [Wikipedia]
In the other hand, the two persons [Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde] symbolize two things – good and evil. It’s been a long argument whether a human being is innately a good one or a bad one. The author Stevenson, if I am not mistaken, he was once intrigued by the duality of the human nature – the good and evil – and he believes that we have our own personal demons that are hiding at the corners of our soul. We are like Dr. Jekyll, kind and a good person, but weak and then here comes Edward Hyde hiding in the corner of our soul waiting to be freed once our hidden desire to be angered or even to kill someone are stirred.
I don’t want to go philosophically or religiously on this, but my stand on this argument is that human beings are innately good. I think that people have done bad things because they don’t know what they do or because they are tempted by an external stimuli or whatever it is. So we’re definitely a Dr. Henry Jekyll, not a Mr. Edward Hyde.
Book #42 for 2010
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson