Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a gothic novella by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson published in 1886. It is about a London lawyer (Utterson) who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde. As we know, the book shows many scenes of appearances but the reader doesn’t take into account that until the end of the book.
To begin with, we use to define an appearance as “the way a person or thing looks to other people” (Cambridge, dictionary, 2018). Nowadays, our society lives depending on appearances, what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we think. The same event occurs in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, because Jekyll is a respected, helpful and friendly doctor of society and he has everything that a person would imagine to have. However, he lives a double life, because he is tired of hiding his evil side. In his investigation to finish his double life he discovers that “a man is not truly one, but truly two” (Stevenson 52).
On one hand, this book was written by the point of view of Mr. Utterson, a lawyer and friend of Dr Jekyll, who investigates this case. As we know Jekyll created Hyde with a strange potion with the objective to do the evil. This cause a problem for Jekyll, because these two personalities are in frequent fight for domination, which concludes in the death of both lives. At the time of publication of this book, we can note that this novella was made in the Victorian era, in which people had to cover their problems and discussions with a good reputation and good appearance.
Continuing with the main topic, we can see the appearances in many scenes of the story; we have to take into account that the setting is an important rol of a story, and a place or an appearance can tell us much more about the story-telling. The goal of Jekyll’s experiment is to try to separate the good side from the evil one, but this situation gets out of control and he creates only his darker side. Therefore, Mr. Hyde, who is an evil, ugly, rude, and disrespectful man doesn’t worry about what people think of him, and he began taking control of Jekyll’s life and actions. For that reason, he has to decide between his life and Hyde’s life and he says in the book “Between these two, I now felt I had to choose” (Stevenson 59). This is a big risk, because Jekyll enjoys being Hyde, the adventure and adrenalin he lives with him.
To sum up, the appearances are an important part of our life, but also we have to learn not to judge a person because of their wearing or their thinking. In this book, Jekyll was concerned on keeping up appearances because at that time, society didn’t accept an uncontrolled person, and much less with a respected doctor as Jekyll. On the other hand, Hyde was a risky person, and he was scared of being hunted.