During the last two weeks, I was reading a special novel which was 《Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde》. This is an amazing horror novel, especially when I moved into the last two chapters, I was totally shocked, and I felt cold on my back, and my stomach got sick.
Everyone is a mixture of good and evil, even the criminal has a little good in him.
First, I think, if you want to understand a novel, you have to clarify not only the current history, but also the relationship or networking between characters. For this novel is easy to understand, because it have not large characters, only 5 lead characters and three support roles.
1. Mr. Utterson
Mr. Utterson is a middle aged lawyer, one of the lead characters in this novel. As an old friend of Jekyll, he recognizes the changes and strange occurrences of Jekyll and Hyde.
2. Richard Enfield
Richard Enfield is Mr. Utterson’s cousin, he is a younger man who is assumed to be slightly more wild than his respectable. He is the witness of Hyde’s inhuman crime.
3. Dr. Lanyon
Dr. Lanyon is the friend and colleague of Dr. Jekyll. Ten years before the events in the novel, he suspended his friendship with Dr. Jekyll because of a disagreement over scientific endeavors.
4. Dr. Henery Jekyll
Dr. Henery Jekyll is a prominent middle-aged doctor who’s both tall and handsome. He lives in extremely wealthy life with a fortune well over two million dollars. The Dr. Jekyll’s belief that within each human being there exist forces of good and evil, leads to his experiments that try to separate the two.
5. Edward Hyde
Edward Hyde is a small, deformed, disgusting man, and he is somewhat younger than Dr. Jekyll. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Utterson describe him as pure evil. At the end of the story, we learn that Edward Hyde and Dr. Henery Jekyll are the same person actually.
6. Sir. Danvers Carew
Sir. Danvers Carew is a hightly respected and prominent member of English society, and is murdered by Edward Hyde.
7. Mr. Guest
Mr. Guest is the clerk for Mr. Utterson. And Mr. Guest discovers the handwriting similarity between notes from Edward Hyde and Dr. Henery Jekyll.
8. Richard Poole
Richard Poole is Dr. Henery Jekyll’s faithful servant. When he noticed his master is involved in some strang things, he seeks out Mr. Utterson’s assistance. Then both Mr. Utterson and Richard Poole discover Edward Hyde dead in Dr. Jekyll’s cabinet.
The novel takes place in Victorian England and the lead characters are all male members of the British Upper Class. All of Mr. Enfield, Mr. Utterson, Dr. Lanyon, and Dr. Jekyll are actually aware of social expectations, and the importance of appearance.
Mr. Utterson tirelessly works to prevent his good friend Dr. Jekyll from being dragged into the horrid affairs of Mr. Hyde, and Dr. Jekyll goes to the greatest of lengths to prevent Edward Hyde identity from being discovered, in order to avoid anyone knowing of his somewhat questionable scientific work.
In pursuing Dr. Jekyll’s scientific experiments, Dr. Jekyll claims that man is not truly one, but truly two. Thus, in Dr. Jekyll’s view, every soul contains elements of both good and evil, but one is always dominant. In his private situation, his good side is dominant, but he knows there is evil inside of him, however, Dr. Jekyll cannot fulfill his evil desires. Thus, he works to develop a way to separate the two parts of his soul and free his evil characteristics.
By once examnation accident, Dr. Jekyll makes a mistake in one of the elements, then he makes a liquid, after drinks it, he becomes from Dr. Jekyll to Edward Hyde who is the evil side from his soul, a pure evil. Without counterbalancing the evil side identity, and then Jekyll allows Hyde to grow increasingly strong, finally Edward Hyde is uncontrolable.
Edward Hyde is described in highly animalistic appearence, short, hairy with horrific face. in the opposite side, Dr. Henery Jekyll is described in the most gentlemanly appearence, tall, refined, polite, and honorable, a well-made gentleman. Nobody can believe that Edward Hyde and Dr. Henery Jekyll are the same one.
Dramatically, at the end of the story, after many horrible crimes, Dr. Jekyll commits suicide just before Mr. Utterson and Poole break the door, into his cabinet. In the final act, neither victim is innocent.