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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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Robert Louis Stevenson's masterpiece of the duality of good and evil in man's nature sprang from the darkest recesses of his own unconscious—during a nightmare from which his wife awakened him, alerted by his screams. More than a hundred years later, this tale of the mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll and the drug that unleashes his evil, inner persona—the loathsome, twisted Mr. Hyde—has lost none of its ability to shock. Its realistic police-style narrative chillingly relates Jekyll's desperation as Hyde gains control of his soul—and gives voice to our own fears of the violence and evil within us. Written before Freud's naming of the ego and the id, Stevenson's enduring classic demonstrates a remarkable understanding of the personality's inner conflicts—and remains the irresistibly terrifying stuff of our worst nightmares.

139 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 5, 1886

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About the author

Robert Louis Stevenson

9,334 books5,825 followers
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer, and a leading representative of English literature. He was greatly admired by many authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling and Vladimir Nabokov.

Most modernist writers dismissed him, however, because he was popular and did not write within their narrow definition of literature. It is only recently that critics have begun to look beyond Stevenson's popularity and allow him a place in the Western canon.

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Profile Image for Jeffrey Keeten.
Author 3 books248k followers
April 5, 2023
”It came about that Edward Hyde was so much smaller, slighter, and younger than Henry Jekyll. Even as good shone upon the countenance of the one, evil was written broadly and plainly on the face of the other. Evil besides (which I must still believe to be the lethal side of man) had left on that body an imprint of deformity and decay. And yet when I looked upon that ugly idol in the glass, I was conscious of no repugnance rather of a leap of welcome.

This too, was myself.”

 photo Jekyll-mansfield_zps5229ba58.jpg
Richard Mansfield was mostly known for his dual role depicted in this double exposure. The stage adaptation opened in London in 1887, a year after the publication of the novella. (Picture 1895).

Dr. Henry Jekyll is a brilliant man who in the course of trying to understand the human psyche has turned himself, with tragic results, into a guinea pig for his experiments. He has unleashed a power from within that is turning out to be too formidable to be properly contained. This book was released in 1886 and at first none of the bookshop wanted to carry the book because of the subject matter, but a positive review had people flocking to the stores to read this sinister tale of hubris overcoming reason.

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The American first edition is the true first edition because it preceded the London edition by three days

The timing was perfect for releasing such a tale. The Victorian society was struggling with the morality that had been imposed upon them by the previous generation. They were embracing vice. Many men of means living in London now found themselves hearing the siren song of pleasures available on the East End. They could be as naughty as they wanted and safely leave their depravity on that side of town before they return to the respectable bosom of their family and careers. They were struggling with the dual natures of their existences. The thunder of the church and the faces of their sweet families made them feel guilty for their need to drink gin in decrepit pubs, smoke opiates in dens of inequity, consort with underage whores, and run the very real risk of being robbed by cutthroats. This walk on the wild side also allowed them the privilege of feeling completely superior to all those beings providing their means of entertainment.

Jekyll as it turns out is no different. He relishes the adventures of his other persona even as he feels the mounting horror of losing control of this other self he calls Mr. Edward Hyde.

Furthermore, his creation has no loyalty.

”My two natures had memory in common, but all other faculties were most unequally shared between them. Jekyll (who was composite) now with the most sensitive apprehensions, now with a greedy gusto, projected and shared in the pleasures and adventures of Hyde; but Hyde was indifferent to Jekyll, or but remembered him as the mountain bandit remembers the cavern in which he conceals himself from pursuit.”

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Spencer Tracy plays Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1941.

Unfortunately indifference becomes more personal, more brutal in nature, as Hyde becomes more and more a caged animal who does not want to have to embrace the pretenses of Jekyll’s respectable position.

”The hatred of Hyde for Jekyll was of a different order. His terror of the gallows drove him continually to commit temporary suicide, and return to his subordinate station of a part instead of a person; he loathed the necessity, he loathed the despondency into which Jekyll had fallen, and he resented the dislike which he was himself regarded.”

The tincture that has so far allowed Jekyll to contain Hyde is needing to be doubled and tripled to give Jekyll some modicum of control over his deviant nature. Jekyll contacts every apothecary he knows trying to find more of the solution he needs only to discover that the original batch that he used to make his “grand discovery” with must have been tainted with a foreign substance unknown to any of the suppliers. This foreign substance, unfortunately, is the ingredient that made the emergence and the restraint of Hyde possible.

Dire circumstances indeed.

Men who normally did not read novels were buying this book. I believe they were looking for some insight into their own nature maybe even some sympathy for their own urges. They made a book that quite possibly could have been thought of as an entertaining gothic novel into an international best seller. New generations of readers are still finding this book essential reading. Even those that have never read this book know the plot and certainly know the names of Jekyll and Hyde. It has inspired numerous movies, mini-series, comic books, and plays. It could be argued that it is one of the most influential novels on the creative arts.

It was but a dream.

Robert Louis Stevenson was stymied for a new idea. He was racking his brain hoping for inspiration.

”He had his names for the agents of his dreams, his whimsical alter ego and writing self. Stevenson referred to these agents, it pains me to admit, as ‘the little people’ and the ‘the Brownies.’ His hope was that they would supply him with marketable tales.”

 photo RLS_zps6bcfff23.jpg

It came to him in a nightmare that had him screaming loudly enough to wake the whole household.

It was a gift from the depths of his mind, maybe an acknowledgement of his own dark thoughts, his own darkest desires.

He wrote the nightmare down on paper feverishly over ten days. When he read the final draft to his wife, Fanny, her reaction was not what he expected. She was cold to the tale, completely against publishing such a sensationalized piece of writing. They argued, thin skinned to any criticism as most writers are especially when it is a complete repudiation of a piece of writing he was particularly proud of; Stevenson, in a moment of rage, tossed the whole manuscript in the fireplace.

Be still my heart.

There is no arguing with success of this magnitude, but I can’t help but wonder what was in that first draft. If there is a criticism of this novel it would be for the restrained nature in which it is presented. Did Stevenson just let it all go? Did he give us more elaborate details of Hyde’s excursions? Was Jekyll’s glee in Hyde’s adventures more fully explored?

I understand Stevenson was a fiery Scot given to flights of temper that could only be doused with something as dramatic as throwing 30,000 words into the fire, but how about flinging the pages about the room, and storming away followed by the proper slamming of a door to punctuate displeasure. In my mind’s eye I can see his stepson, Lloyd Osborne, carefully gathering the pages, scaring himself reading them in the middle of the night, and keeping them for all posterity between the leaves of a writing journal.

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In 1920 John Barrymore played Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Stevenson was obsessed with the concept of good and evil. We all have a side to our personality that we prefer to keep hidden. We all wear masks. For now our inner thoughts are still our own, but don’t be surprised if the NSA has figured out how to tap in and tape those as well. Sometimes wearing the mask becomes arduous. Another entity fights to be allowed to roam free. We want to be impulsive, self-gratifying, slutty, sometimes brutal, but most importantly unfettered by our reputations. I wouldn’t necessarily call that evil, but there are people who do have true viciousness barely contained and we have to hope they continue to restrain it.

The Victorians identified with Jekyll/Hyde and maybe to know that others are also struggling with doing right without doing wrong certainly made them feel less like an aberration when they next felt the itch for the East End. I’m sure this book was the source of many fine conversations as they drank their gin and smelled the musky hair of the doxie on their laps.

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The author with his wife and their household in Vailima, Samoa, c. 1892 Photograph of Robert Louis Stevenson and family, Vailima, on the island of Upolu in Samoa. Left to right: Mary Carter, maid to Stevenson's mother, Lloyd Osbourne, Stevenson's stepson, Margaret Balfour, Stevenson's mother, Isobel Strong, Stevenson's stepdaughter, Robert Louis Stevenson, Austin Strong, the Strong's son, Stevenson's wife Fanny Stevenson, and Joseph Dwight Strong, Isobel's husband.

The word that most of his friends and acquaintances used to describe Stevenson (RLS as I often think of him) was captivating. He was sorely missed when he made the decision to move to Samoa taking himself a long way from supportive friends and his fans. He was searching for a healthy environment that would restore his always ailing health. Unfortunately the new climate was found too late, he died at the age of 44 from a brain aneurysm leaving his last novel, the Weir of Hermiston, unfinished. Many believe that he was on the verge of writing his greatest novel.

Oddly enough, F. Scott Fitzgerald a very different writer from RLS, but also a favorite of mine died at 44 as well. Critics also believe that The Last Tycoon would have been his best novel if he’d had time to finish it. It does make me wonder about the wonderful stories that were left forever trapped in the now long silent pens of RLS and FSF, but they both left lasting monuments to literature. Even those that don’t appreciate their writing the way I do still have to admit that their impact was undeniable.

If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com
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Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
February 20, 2019
55 pages later and I’m still convinced that Robert Louis Stevenson named his characters this way exclusively so he could fit in the line “if he shall be Mr. Hyde, I shall be Mr. Seek!” and honestly? that’s iconic.
Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.

There’s a reason this novella has stood the test of time - it is creepy and interesting as hell. I think there’s something very terrifying to me about the idea of losing humanity and sanity, at first due to your own choices but later because of forces you cannot control. Robert Louis Stevenson allegedly wrote this while on drugs, and you can definitely feel that experience in the book.

This is such a short book and I don’t know quite what else to say, but guys... I love Victorian horror. it's so fucking weird and wild and all about Transgressing Social Norms and Being Subversive and this is the kind of shit I am HERE for!! sometime I’ll write my term paper about how Victorian horror was a way for queer people, women, and mentally ill people to express their frustrations at Victorian society in a way that appealed to mass audiences, because I find that dynamic fascinating.

dangerous ideas: book 2
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Profile Image for Anne.
3,918 reviews69.3k followers
January 4, 2023
This Stevenson guy totally ripped off Stan Lee's Hulk character!


I mean, did this dude seriously think he could get away with what basically boils down to a copy & paste job of one of the most iconic literary characters in comics?!
I. Think. Not.
Stan, my friend, you have a real chance at winning a copyright infringement lawsuit.

*Edit: 2017
For those of you without a working sense of humor, please click this spoiler tag before commenting on my review.

Dr. Jekyll, you dirty, dirty little man...


Yes, yes, yes. I know that the whole story is supposed to be some deep philosophical look at the duality of human nature.
But that's not interesting.
Well, it's not interesting to me.
As supposedly groundbreaking as this discussion was at the time this sucker was written (so says the introduction), it didn't exactly blow my mind.
Hey, I'm actually pretty well-read for a peasant!
No, what kept me going was trying to figure out what the hell kind of kink this mild-mannered old fart was into! Seriously.
He developed a freaking magic serum just so he could run around and do...WHAT?! What was so off the charts freaky that he'd need to transform into a different person to get away with it?
I have my theories...


But, unfortunately, Stevenson never gives us a straight answer. He just decided to skip over the juicy bits and ratchet up the tension with the whole Good vs Evil thing.
I guess he did a pretty decent job of pulling it off.
But what really struck a chord with me was the nice ABC After School Special feel to this one.
In the end, Dr. Jekyll apologizes, and everyone goes home happy!


Moral of the Story:
Don't drink anything that has green smoke coming off of it. Especially if it was brewed in a mad scientist's basement.
You will inevitably shrink and get hairy knuckles.


Buddy read with The Jeff, Delee, Dustin, Stepheny, Holly, and (party crasher) Tadiana.
Profile Image for Ariel.
301 reviews64.2k followers
November 1, 2014

This edition came with two stories, "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and "The Bottle Imp," and they were both awesome let's talk about them. I'm so excited I can't contain myself.

- So. Well. Crafted. From beginning to end the story was engaging and the themes where quite straightforward, but I really love that in writing (see: George Orwell is my favourite author). I like it when authors aren't bogging their messages down in unneeded subtleties.
- Some of these sentences, I swear to god! One of my favourite ones: “I slept after the prostration of the day, with a stringent and profound slumber which not even the nightmares that wrung me could avail to break.” The context doesn't even matter. It's solid gold.
- My only distress with this story comes not from anything Stevenson did, but from the fact that it's so famous (*spoiler alert*): I wish I didn't know Jekyll and Hyde are the same person! Gosh darn it. The story is solid enough that it doesn't matter if you know or not, (which is important: if one spoiler can ruin your story you don't have a very good story), but it would have been so wickedly fun not to know. Stevenson did such a good job of hiding it!
- The ideas of evil vs good in humans were great. And the idea that Jekyll didn't hate Hyde.. GOSH DARNIT THIS WAS GREAT.
- That ending though. That ending. THAT ENDING, JESUS.

- I had no idea what the heck this was, which made it so much fun. What a story! Stevenson has an awesome imagination. To avoid spoilers I'll keep this brief.
- This story was so stressful. Oh man I felt legitimate anxiety. My heart, it was not happy. WHICH IS GREAT. It's amazing when a piece of writing can make you feel real dread.
- Why was it set in Hawaii? When talking to a friend (who is Scottish. and so is Stevenson. so I trust her on this subject) she explained to me that Stevenson was known for being a world traveller, so maybe he just wanted to explore something new. It was interesting, I'd like to look more into the significance of the Hawaii setting.. definitely something to do with being an island?
- I wanted this to end more sadly. Gosh it was so set up for a sad ending, and I was dreading dreading dreading that it would end badly but sometimes these things can't end well! I think, ultimately, the ending didn't feel too bad. It could have been done worse, I think the "saviour" situation that happened had legitimate merit, but still. I think this would have been better if it had ended horribly.

Go read this, seriously people.
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
795 reviews3,612 followers
February 12, 2023
Oldschool schizophrenia

That created a whole subgenre
The options are sheer endless, because everything is possible with such a main character(s). Who is/are they, what is real or just fiction, how long is which personality taking control, who is the really good or bad character, what is their motivation and how is it triggered, are just the tip of the iceberg of ways to tell a story that way. In this classic, there are of course also

The conventions of the time the novel was written in
So what is good and evil, regarding faith, social norms, and traditions, changed since then. But the most freaking, disturbing, and for each one possible fate is, including the immense fear of,

Going bonkers without realizing it at first
Everyone is afraid of sickness and suffering and in this case, it could be a hell tour the force without end, except for a more or less natural death. Just google how it begins, how many manifestations it has, and how thin the line between mental sanity and madness is. How Stevenson uses a brilliant plot and writing style to show these inner struggles and construct credible characters out of one person is the

Reality for many people beginning to deal with dissociative personality disorder and schizophrenia
It´s not as if one suddenly wakes up and has two or multiple personalities she/he is aware of. The variety of options for how, when, and how hard it kicks in is as manifold as the personalities a sick human brain creates. How severe the effects are can be seen in MRI scans of the brains of diagnosed patients that have to cope with much more than

Their good and evil twin
There is also so much personal history integrated into the construction of these personalities, another story element ingeniously implemented into the plot by Stevenson. Without, at the time simply not existing, much knowledge about the biological causes he described an amazingly accurate picture of the illness and didn´t just build a literary monument of how fragile the human psyche is. But also sensitized society for forgotten, haunted individuals in the shadows, literally fighting their inner demons that came to life and could materialize at each moment.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
September 13, 2021
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a gothic novella by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson first published in 1886. The work is also known 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 Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde.

The novella's impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the very phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" coming to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «دکتر جکیل و مستر هاید»؛ «قضیه عجیب دکتر جکیل و مستر هاید»؛ «ماجرای عجیب دکتر جکیل و آقای هاید»؛ «دکتر جکیل و آقای هاید»؛ «ماجرای عجیب شگفت انگیز»؛ «مورد عجیب دکتر جکیل و آقای هاید»؛ نویسنده: رابرت لوییس استیونسون؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز پنجم ماه آوریل سال 2012میلادی

عنوان: دکتر جکیل و مستر هاید (متن کوتاه شده)؛ نویسنده: رابرت لوییس استیونسون؛ مترجم: جعفر مدرس صادقی؛ تهران، نشر مرکز، 1373، در 111
ص؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان اسکاتلند - سده 19م

عنوان: ماجرای عجیب دکتر جکیل و آقای هاید؛ نویسنده: رابرت لوییس استیونسون؛ مترجم: علی فاطمیان؛ تهران، ارشاد، چشم انداز، 1376، در240ص؛ شابک 9644220579؛

و مترجمین دیگر خانمها و آقایان: «جعفر مدرس صادقی»؛ «شایسته ابراهیمی»؛ «جلال بهجتی»؛ «فرحناز عطاریان»؛ «میترا کوچاری»؛ «رامین هدایتی»؛ «محسن سلیمانی»؛ «مرجان رضایی»؛ «علی فاطمیان»؛ «شیوا رفیعی»؛ «فهیمه عابدینی»؛ «حسین علیخانپور شاه آبادی»؛ و ...؛

کتاب «دکتر جکیل و آقای هاید»، عنوان یک داستان است، که نویسنده ی «اسکاتلندی»، «رابرت لوییس استیونسون»، در سال 1886میلادی، در «لندن» آن را منتشر کردند؛ در این رمان «دکتر جکیل»، که به مبحث دوگانگی شخصیت باورمند است، دارویی برای جدا کردن جنبه‌ های خوب و بد انسانی خویش، میسازد؛ از جنبه‌ های بد، فردی به نام «آقای هاید»، پدید میآید، که دست به اعمال جنایتبار، و حتی قتل میزند؛ این رمان کشمکش درونی بد و خوب هر انسان را، به تصویر میکشد؛ سبک نوشتاری رمان بسیار جذاب و غنی است، و به عنوان مرجعی مهم، در مبحث دوگانگی شخصیت، از آن یاد میشود؛ سرگذشت «دکتر جکیل و آقای هاید»، منبع الهام قطعات تئاتر، فیلمهای سینمایی، و چندین آهنگ، بوده است

دکتر جکیل به عنوان شخصیت اصلی داستان متوجه می‌شود، که روزها انسانی خیرخواه است، و می‌خواهد به دیگران یاری برساند، اما شب‌ها میل بسیاری به بی‌بند و باری و هرزگی دارد، و به انسانی با افکار منفی بدل می‌شود، او با کشمکش‌های درونی‌ بین خیر و شر، زیر فشار است، برای همین در انتهای خانه‌اش، آزمایشگاهی میسازد، و تلاش می‌کند تا معجونی را تولید کند، که بتواند وجوه مثبت و منفی شخصیتش را جدا سازد، سرانجام او محلولی را اختراع میکند تا بخشهای مثبت و منفی افکارش را، جدا نماید، او به دو شخصیت کاملا جداگانه بدل می‌شود، «دکتر جکیل» و «آقای هاید» شخصیت‌های دوگانه ی او هستند، «آقای هاید» شخصیتی است کاملا منفی، که میل به شرارت دارد، و «دکتر جکیل» را کاملا به دردسر می‌اندازد، کنترل «آقای هاید» برای «دکتر جکیل» دشوار می‌شود، و پس از مدتی، دیگر «آقای هاید»، قابل کنترل نیست؛ فاجعه‌ ای در انتظار «دکتر جکیل» به دلیل رفتارهای «آقای هاید» در پیش خواهد بود...؛

نقل از متن: (آقای وکیل «آترسون»، مردی بود با چهره‌ای مردانه، چهره‌ای که هیچوقت به لبخند باز نمی‌شد، آدمی سرد، کم‌حرف، خجالتی و در ضمن لاغر و قد بلند، با قیافه‌ ای خشک و گرفته بود؛ با وجود این آدمی دوست داشتنی بود

موقع ملاقات با دوستانش، چشم‌هایشان از مهربانی زیاد، برق می‌زد و با این‌که مهربانی‌اش را هیچ‌وقت ابراز نمی‌کرد، اما حالت‌های چهره‌ی ساکت و رفتارش در زندگی، این احساسش را به خوبی نشان می‌داد، «آترسون» به خودش سخت می‌گرفت، تئاتر را دوست داشت، اما بیست سالی می‌شد که پا به سالن تئاتر نگذاشته بود، با دیگران بردبار بود؛ گاهی نیز به مردمی غبطه می‌خورد که فشار روحی پس از ارتکاب جرم را به راحتی تحمل می‌کردند، با این حال حتی در اوج بدبختی افراد هم دوست داشت به جای سرزنش کردن، به آن‌ها کمک کند، با لحن جالبی می‌گفت: «من دنباله‌روی قابیل هستم، می‌گذارم برادرم به هر راه خطایی که دلش می‌خواهد برود.» و به خاطر داشتن چنین شخصیتی، بیشتر وقت‌ها آخرین آدم قابل اعتماد و با نفوذ افراد سقوط کرده و بدبخت بود، شاید برای همین هم هر وقت مردم به دفتر کارش می‌آمدند، رفتارش کوچک‌ترین تغییری نمی‌کرد

دوستی آقای «آترسون» هم با دیگران براساس طبع بلند و مهربانش بود و به خاطر فروتنی زیادش، همیشه آماده بود تا دیگران را در هر فرصتی به حلقه‌ ی دوستانش وارد کند

راه و روش زندگی آقای وکیل این‌جوری بود؛ دوستانش هم یا از خویشاوندانش بودند، یا از آشناهای قدیمی‌اش؛ دلبستگی‌اش به آدم‌ها هم ربطی به قابلیت و توانایی افراد نداشت، بلکه مثل پیچک بود و مدت‌ها طول می‌کشید تا رشد کند؛ مسلما رابطه‌ ی آقای «آترسون» و آقای «ریچارد انفیلد» هم از همین نوع بود، مرد سرشناسی که از خویشاوندان دور او به حساب می‌آمد

اما برای خیلی‌ها معما این بود که این دو، چه چیزی را در هم دیگر می‌بینند یا چه وجه اشتراکی با هم دارند، کسانی‌که روزهای یک‌شنبه، موقع گردش به آن دو برخورده بودند، تعریف می‌کردند که آن‌ها هیچ صحبتی با هم نمی‌کنند، انگار نه تنها از حضور هم خسته شده‌اند، بلکه از دیدن دوستی دیگر استقبال هم می‌کنند، با وجود این هردوی‌شان به این گردش‌ها خیلی اهمیت می‌دادند و هر هفته از این فرصت، مثل جواهری قیمتی استفاده می‌کردند؛ آن‌ها نه تنها از لذت‌ها و تفریح‌های دیگرشان می‌زدند، بلکه در برابر گرفتاری‌های کاری‌شان هم مقاومت می‌کردند تا از این گردش‌ها لذت ببرند)؛ پایان

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 26/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 21/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,260 reviews5,361 followers
November 11, 2022
حقا انها اشياء لا تشترى
فكلنا تزورنا الكوابيس و لكن هل نستخلص منها روائع روائية مثل ستيفنسون ؟
الفصام..مرض منتشر أكثر مما نتخيل..و هناك شعرة منه بداخل كل منا !! قد يكون في صورة تقلبات مزاجية بسيطة أو حادة
..و قد يكون في تلك الصورة العبقرية المريعة التي رسمها ستيفنسون في قصته الفريدة. .و التي بدأت بكابوس زاره

هو طبيب وسيم.. ثري ..محترم و لكنه مؤمن لان الروح تنقسم لقسم خير و اخر شرير يتصارعون دائما يبدأ تجاربه لاثبات نظريته "الغبية حقا "( لان الانسان يصارع هوى نفسه ليس اكثر ) ينجح في تحضير تركيبة تحوله نفسيا و جسديا لنقيضه في كل شيء .. بهيميا ..خبيثا..يثير الاشمئزاز. .يهاجم الأطفال و يقتل الشيوخ ..فهو الشر خالصا

بالرواية ابعاد اجتماعية عميقة جعلتها تتعدى كونها قصة رعب خيالية مثيرة..فستيفنسون كان ينتقد الطبقة المتوسطة العليا الغارقة في الزيف و العفن و الشر المتدثربالمبادىء..و هناك من يعتقدون ان الرواية القصيرة ملهمة لكل مبدعي السوبر هيرو المتحولين

و مع تطور الاحداث ؛طبعا تحدث الواقعة..و يتحول لهايد بدون تركيبة اثناء نومه..و يفقد سيطرته..فهل تتحرر روح جيكل من هايد..إم سيدفع ثمن فضوله الغير حميد؟
Profile Image for Peter Topside.
Author 4 books672 followers
September 23, 2021
So I will admit that I purchased the kindle version that had modernized wording. It just updated the older language, making it a bit easier for me to follow. But the writing style still felt like it was in same same vein (Pun intended) as Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Now this is a short read, but felt much longer, in a good way. I enjoyed the slow burn and hinting about Dr Jekyll’s alter ego, before divulging everything in the last chapter, from the doctor’s point of view. Putting yourself in Utterson’s shoes, and to a lesser degree Lanyon, really also made the terror he was dealing with seem so much more real and scary. Hyde was described perfectly throughout and his rampaging was done very tactfully. There was mention of violence, but nothing strongly detailed, which also fared well here. This book is a considered a horror classic for a damn good reason.
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11k followers
August 4, 2011
KUDOS, KUDOS and more KUDOS to you, Mr. Stevenson!! First, for bringing me more happy than a Slip N Slide on a scorching summer day by providing Warner Bros with the inspiration for one of my favorite cartoons, Hyde and Go Tweet:
...I mean who didn't love giant, cat-eating Tweety Hyde.

Second, and more seriously, when I tardily returned to your classic gothic novella as an adult, you once again red-lined my joy meter with the strength and eloquence of your story craft. You story is the gift that keeps on giving.

In both structure and content, this narrative is a work of art. From a technical perspective, it can be admired for its superb mingling of different literary devices. More importantly (for me at least), the story itself is a powerful depiction of some very important ideas about humanity and what we sometimes hide behind the veneer of civilization.

Structurally, the novella crams, stuffs and presses a complete, fully-fleshed story in its scant 88 pages by using a brilliant combo of point of view changes, dialogue, flashback and epistolary components. In lesser hands, the amount of information and story contained in this tale would have required a lot more paper. In addition to being a model of conciseness, the change in style, in my opinion, added to the enjoyment of the story by allowing the reader to be more “present” during the narrative.

Content-wise, Stevenson really knocks the cover off the ball. Despite being written in 1886, this tale still stands as the quintessential fictional examination of the duality of man’s nature and the very human struggle between the civilized and primal aspects of our beings. The constrained, repressive society of the Victorian Period in which the story takes place provides the perfect back drop for the model of outward English propriety, Dr. Henry Jekyll, to battle (metaphorically and literally) the darker, baser but still very human desires personified in the person of Edward Hyde. What a perfect allegory between the face people wear in public and the one they take out only in private.
Hence it came about that I concealed my pleasures; and that when I reached years of reflection, and began to look round me, and take stock of my progress and position in the world, I stood already committed to a profound duplicity of life.

Stevenson’s prose is engaging and I found myself pulled into the narrative from the beginning. I particularly enjoyed when Stevenson wrote of his characters’ reactions to being in the presence of Mr. Hyde and the palpable, pervasive, but non-pinpointable, sense of evil and dread that radiated from him. For example:
‘There is something wrong with his appearance; something displeasing, something downright detestable…’

…’[Hyde’s features] were the expression, and bore the stamp, of lower elements in my soul.’

‘The last I think; for, O poor old Harry Jekyll, if ever I read Satan's signature upon a face, it is on that of your new friend.’
I was also impressed with Henry Jekyll’s description of his growing realization that man not homogenous inside his own skin but a conglomerate of competing personalities and aspects.
With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to the truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two… I hazard the guess that man will be ultimately known for a mere polity of multifarious, incongruous and independent denizens

Overall, this is one of those classics that lives up to its name and rightfully belongs among the highlights of gothic fiction. I am very, very pleased that I decided to revisit this story as I found that I loved as an adult what I could only “try to appreciate” as a child.


Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,113 reviews44.4k followers
February 13, 2016
Robert Louis Stevenson was a man who knew how to play his audience. Utterson, the primary point of view character for this novel, is a classic Victorian gentleman; he is honest, noble and trustworthy; he is the last reputable acquaintance of down going men like Henry Jekyll. So, by having a character who evokes the classic feelings of Victorian realism narrate the abnormal encounterings, it gives it credibility; it gives it believability; thus, the story is scarier because if a man such as Utterson is seeing this strange case, then it must be real.


Indeed, this gothic novella was considered very scary at the time. I think this was emphasised because Stevenson pushed the boundaries of the gothic genre. One of the tenants of the style rests upon the inclusion of a doppelgänger. Instead of using this classic idea Stevenson transgressed it with having his doppelgängers relationship reside in the same character. Jekyll/Hyde is the same person, and at the same time one and another’s counterpart. I think this is a masterful technique because the relationship between the two is more psychologically complex and fear inducing, than, for example, the relationship between Frankenstein and his Monster. It breaks the boundaries of the normal role and establishes a doppelgänger relationship that is stronger than any others.

This all happened because one day a Victoria chemist decided to see if he could separate the two states of human nature. The result was a successful disaster. Utterson has to try and piece together the scraps of the strange situation. He is perplexed at the idea of the paranormal because logic dictates that this shouldn’t be happening, therefore, it isn’t real, but only it is so, again, it becomes more scary. The incident at the window is demonstrative of this. Utterson witnesses Jekyll’s transgressive shift into Hyde and a shift between the doppelgangers. The blood of the Victorian gentleman is frozen by what he beholds.

"I learned to recognise the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both."


I love the gothic genre and I love this novella. I think so much can be taken from it because the number of interpretations that have been made of it are huge. It is told in my favourite style of narration: epistolary. There are a number of narrators, including Jekyll himself. Consequently, the interpretive value is increased significantly. I’ve spoken a lot about Utterson, but there is also the strong possibility of Jekyll being an unreliable narrator as he has deluded himself almost completely. One could also compare the work to Stevenson’s own life and his self-imposed exile as he wrote this gothic master piece. In addition to this, Hyde can be seen as the personification of having the so called exact physical characteristics of a criminal in the Victorian age, and the homosexual undertones are also very implicit in the text. There is just so much going on in here.

The literary value of this is, of course, incredibly high. But, it is also incredibly entertaining to read. I’ve written essays about this novella for university; thus, I could praise this book all day and night. This is, certainly, the best novella I've read to date. I had to buy a Folio Society edition of it, I just had to.

Profile Image for  ⊱ Sonja ⊰ ❤️.
2,280 reviews408 followers
August 25, 2022
Wer hat wohl noch nicht von Dr. Jekyll und Mr. Hyde gehört? Nun habe ich es auch endlich geschafft, einmal zu diesem Buch zu greifen.
Ich mochte die Thematik. Spannend und schaurig.
Der Schreibstil ist natürlich etwas altertümlich, immerhin ist die Geschichte auch schon über 130 Jahre alt. Ich habe das Buch nicht im Original gelesen; vielleicht wirkt sie dann noch anders.
Für mich ist es ein gutes Buch; nicht mehr, nicht weniger.
Profile Image for Bionic Jean.
1,227 reviews1,061 followers
March 27, 2023
Do you know what a "Jekyll and Hyde" character is? Of course you do. It is one of the descriptions, originally in a piece of literature, which has now become accepted in our vernacular. And there are many renditions of the story, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and countless references to it in all aspects of life. Quite an achievement for a slim Victorian volume written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, and published in 1886.

"Man is not truly one, but truly two."

So asserts Dr. Jekyll. But we are slightly handicapped nowadays by knowing the crux of the plot beforehand. Before this tale there seems to have been nothing similar, although there had been earlier tales in literature about doppelgängers. Robert Louis Stevenson had always been interested in the duality of human nature, and shown admiration for morally ambiguous heroes - or anti-heroes. But the spark which produced this novel was ignited by a dream he had had. His wife Fanny reported,

"In the small hours of one morning ... I was awakened by cries of horror from Louis. Thinking he had a nightmare, I awakened him. He said angrily, 'Why did you wake me? I was dreaming a fine bogey tale.' I had awakened him at the first transformation scene."

The writing of the story itself is a gripping tale. Stevenson wrote the original draft with feverish excitement, taking less than three days. He then collapsed with a haemorrhage, and his wife edited the manuscript, as was her habit. The story is that it was she who suggested to her husband that he should have written it as an allegory, rather than a story.

On being left alone with his manuscript, Stevenson promptly burnt it to ashes, thus forcing himself to start again from scratch, and rewrite it in the form of an allegory. It is unclear whether this is true, or myth, since there can be no evidence of a burnt manuscript. However later biographers of Robert Louis Stevenson have claimed that he was probably on drugs such as cocaine when writing it. He was certainly ill and confined to bed at the time.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was an immediate success, and remains Stevenson's most popular work. It is only recently however that his work has been thought to deserve critical attention. The author himself took his writing lightly, shrugging his popularity off with a dismissive,

"Fiction is to grown men what play is to the child,"

and continuing to write his swashbuckling stories of romance and adventure; what he called "historical tushery."

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was thus an unusual tale for him to write. Perhaps its popularity at the time was partly due to its high moral tone. Not only was it adapted for the stage, but was also said to be widely quoted in religious sermons.

"With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to the truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two."

"All human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone, in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil."

One can see how ministers of the church would be tempted to use the story as a convenient illustration for descriptions of temptation, sin and depravity.

From a modern point of view the style is dated, and almost archaic. There is a lot of preamble and dissembling. Of course this must have added to the mystery. Yet since there is little mystery at all to a modern reader, it is difficult to judge.

The novel starts with a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who is intrigued to be told stories of his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and also about some evil crimes committed by a man called Edward Hyde. He himself witnesses Hyde going into Jekyll's house, describing Hyde as a "troglodyte", or ugly animalistic creature. As the story moves on, we learn that not only is Hyde primitive, but also immoral, taking a delight in his crimes. He is not an animal, amoral and innocent, but a person Utterson sees as evil and depraved, full of rage and revelling in his vices. The puzzle remains what could possibly be the link between the two very different men.

Yet is the morality of civilised people merely a veneer after all? The story is set very firmly in its time, when the ideas of what was decent and upright behaviour was set, not fluid. Yet even so, appearances and facades were often just an illusory surface, hiding a more sordid truth. A respectable man would sometimes prefer to look the other way and remain ignorant,

"I feel very strongly about putting questions; it partakes too much of the style of the day of judgement. You start a question, and it's like starting a stone. You sit quietly on the top of a hill; and away the stone goes, starting others; and presently some bland old bird (the last you would have thought of) is knocked on the head in his own back garden, and the family have to change their name. No, sir, I make it a rule of mine: the more it looks like Queer Street, the less I ask."

When Utterson suspects that To a Victorian gentleman, his reputation would have been paramount. The unwritten rule of the time, known to all respectable people, stated that one never betrayed a friend, whatever their secret. This may seem hypocrisy to modern eyes, or it may seem loyalty.

As the story moves on the relationship between the two is compounded, but it is not until the final chapters, which consist of two letters to be opened in the event of a death, that the horrific story unfolds. This is a popular device of the time, but it lacks immediacy, and the story seems to finish unexpectedly, at the end of one letter, without any sort of conclusion. The descriptions however are very powerful,

"As I looked there came, I thought a change - he seemed to swell - his face became suddenly black and the features seemed to melt and alter..."

"The most racking pangs succeeded: a grinding in the bones, deadly nausea, and a horror of the spirit that cannot be exceeded at the hour of birth or death. Then these agonies began swiftly to subside, and I came to myself as if out of a great sickness. There was something strange in my sensations, something indescribably sweet. I felt younger, lighter, happier in body; within I was conscious of a heady recklessness, a current of disordered sensual images running like a millrace in my fancy, a solution of the bonds of obligation, an unknown but innocent freedom of the soul. I knew myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be more wicked, tenfold more wicked, sold a slave to my original evil and the thought, in that moment, braced and delighted me like wine."

"This was the shocking thing; that the slime of the pit seemed to utter cries and voices; that the amorphous dust gesticulated and sinned; that what was dead, and had no shape, should usurp the offices of life. And this again, that that insurgent horror was knit to him closer than a wife, closer than an eye; lay caged in his flesh, where he heard it mutter and felt it struggle to be born; and at every hour of weakness, and in the confidence of slumber, prevailed against him, and deposed him out of life."

It is an interesting depiction by Stevenson, that Dr. Jekyll could rarely bring himself to use the personal pronoun when talking about Hyde's most despicable crimes. Indeed, the character makes the same observation himself, yet at first he had talked in the first person throughout.

To a modern reader then, this is a story about a split personality, or what is technically called "dissociative identity disorder". But Stevenson also invites us to view it as a moral tale, an allegory, questioning the abstract notions of good and evil. Do we all have a "dark side"? Do we truly have both a tendency to evil and an inclination towards virtue within our natures? If so, how do we decide which is uppermost? Can we consciously control them at all? And which, if either, might continue after death?

The author poses the question, leaving it to the reader to decide, although there are hints that he views us all as having a dual nature,

“The bargain might appear unequal; but there was still another consideration in the scales; for while Jekyll would suffer smartingly in the fires of abstinence, Hyde would be not even conscious of all that he had lost.”

It is always interesting to read the original of a much-loved tale. This has flaws of construction, but is well worth a look even so.

EDIT: (a few months later)

I've been aware that this is probably worth a little more than my default rating, if only because of its phenomenal influence on popular culture, and writing about this theme, since. So I'm altering my rating to a 4 stars, as it falls somewhere between the two, I think.
Profile Image for J.G. Keely.
546 reviews9,770 followers
November 15, 2012
After the overblown Frankenstein and the undercooked Dracula, it's pleasant to find that the language and pacing of the third great pillar of horror is so forceful and deliberate (especially since I was disappointed by Stevenson's other big work, Treasure Island). But then, this is a short story, and it's somewhat easier to carry off the shock, horror, and mystery over fewer pages instead of drawing it out like Shelley and Stoker into a grander moralizing tale.

But Stevenson still manages to get in quite a bit of complexity, even in the short space. As I was reading it, I found myself wishing I didn't already know the story--that it hadn't been automatically transmitted to me by society--because I wondered how much better it would be to go in not knowing the answer to the grand, central mystery, but instead being able to watch it unfold before me. Much has been said about the 'dual nature of man', the good versus the evil sides, but what fascinated me about the book was that despite being drawn in such lines, it did not strike me as a tale of one side of man versus another. Indeed, it is the virtuous side who seeks out a way to become destructive, showing that his virtuosity is a mere sham.

Likewise, neither Jekyll nor Hyde seem to have any real motivation to be either 'good' or 'evil', it is more that they are victims of some disorder which compels them to be as they are--that causal Victorian psychology which, in the end, robs anyone involved of premeditation for what they do. Dracula kills to survive, Frankenstein does so because he is the product of the ultimate broken home and Hyde does it as a self-destructive compulsion despite the fact that he loves life above all else, yet is unable to protect himself well enough to retain it.

This is not the evil of Milton's Satan, or of Moriarty, who know precisely what they do and do it because of the way they see the world before them, but that of the phrenologist, who measures a man's head with calipers and declares him evil based upon the values so garnered, independent of any understanding, motivation, or reason.

And yet this is not an unbelievable evil--indeed, Stevenson uses it as an analysis of addiction and other self-destructive behaviors, where the pure chemical rush of the thing becomes its own cause, despite the fact that the addict will tell you he wishes nothing more than to be rid of it, to be normal again, never to have tasted the stuff in the first place. It is a place a man might fall into through ignorance and carelessness, never realizing how hard it could be, in the end, to escape.

And that's something we can all relate to, far more than the sociopathy of Moriarty, which requires that you have complete understanding but just a completely different set of emotional reactions to the world around you. It is much easier for most people to say that there is some part inside them that they do not like, that makes them uncomfortable, some thoughts and desires which rise unbidden from their brain, and which they must fight off. And it is the fact that they are strong enough to need to be fought off that unsettles us and gives us pause, for we do not like to think that such incomprehensible forces might always be there, working, just beneath the surface, and which might come out not due to some dark desire or motivation, but due to simple, thoughtless error.
Profile Image for Jeff .
912 reviews693 followers
April 30, 2015
What I learned reading Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

By Jeff

1) Some things are better left unsaid. Really? Who knows how Hyde indulged himself? Hookers? Pirating? Running an orphan sweat shop? Booze? Opium? Ripping the “Do Not Remove under Penalty of Law” labels from mattresses?

2) Never have a nosy lawyer as a best friend. Who the hell hangs out with lawyers?

3) My evil Hyde would not be a top hat wearing, monkey-like Juggernaut. Sorry, he would be more Dean Martin-esque, a la “The Nutty Professor.

4) How in need Victorian England was for body waxing and/or Nair.

5) As long as my evil twin was a different size - stretchy spandex material for those embarrassing and untimely changes.

6) This has no business being a musical. An episode of Scooby Doo, sure. (I would have “worked” my way through the entire brothel, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!) Stage musical, no!

7) Possible Hyde potion flavors: Salted Caramel, Lime Mint, White Chocolate Almond, Tangerine Mango

8) Evil housekeeper-good, evil hideout attached to regular pad-just stupid. Note to self: make Evil me smarter and even more cunning.

9) Some adaptations over the years: In Abbot and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Costello, playing Tubby, is transformed into a big mouse. Huh? In Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde, the movie poster warned: “The sexual transformation of a man into a woman will actually take place before your very eyes!” “Acting! Brilliant! Thank you!”

10) At around one hundred pages, this book (novella?) was the perfect length. Any longer and Stevenson’s leaden prose style would have transformed me into grumpy, whiney, sleepy reader.
Profile Image for Fabian.
947 reviews1,562 followers
September 20, 2020
The appearances/superficiality motif appears as early on as the first sentence in this tense, tight, but ultimately convoluted smear of a novella. Count on countenance for good & sturdy bones in a story of detection...

& yet...

Plus there are really nice framing devices on display here, a check-mark always in my book, like the letters within letters narrative, a nifty exercise, which is mighty cool. (Here, my favorite sentence from the Robert Louis Stevenson classic: "Jekyll had more than a father's interest; Hyde had more than a son's indifference." [85] Super dooper neat!)


And then there is the fact that the main protagonists become manifested once they are uttered into existence by the status quo, the pre turn of the century Londonfolk. Rumor creates their reputations before the two, er one, ever make the center stage.


I must mention that I feel as though the actual occurrence, the solved crime, what's underneath all the whispy artifices of this rudimentary detective-noir novel, is a homosexual relationship gone to extremes, to a level that's too... literary? Maybe that's a stretch. Also, I LOVE that JEKYLL sounds like jackal, as in Devil. Cute.


This is not worthy of the canon (!!!!). Bottom Line. Cos the whole Dual-Nature and Commingling-of-Good-and-Evil thing is overdone, stamped into the reader like some mantra that could be interpreted in many different ways and becomes, quite frankly, overly exhausted. This ain't as kitschy, or pre-kitschy-- nowhere near-- as I'd foolishly predicted. If you want something macabre AND brilliant, go to the French serial-classic "The Phantom of the Opera"!
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,198 reviews40.7k followers
January 24, 2022
Once upon I was curious and dump kid who was big fan of black and white thriller movies. ( when I caught Hitchcock disease: which is an illness about non stop watching and being obsessed with thrillers of Hitchcock directed, I was only six) And that dump kid’s face was nearly glued to the screen when the first time she watched Spencer Tracy’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ( Ingrid Bergman was also adorable as always playing Ivy Peterson) A scientist creates a potion to bring out the darkness he restrained for years! But slowly darkness controls his entire body, freeing the violent self of the person! Let’s say goodbye to kind, dedicated scientist Dr. Jekyll and let’s party with Mr. Hyde!

After watching that movie, I was planning to read that book for years. Today is the day I chose to accomplish that plan. But I have to admit: mostly I prefer books to their adaptations. This time I’m thinking exactly the opposite! I’m soooooo BORED! I want to go to bed but it’s only 10 a.m. in the morning! Why the hell a lawyer tells this entire story! Who cares about his client’s will! The story can be perfectly told via diaries of Dr. Jekyll ( or his both identities which will be more informative to see the psychological and physical changes of him)

I know it’s written on 1886 but it’s not an excuse to find a sensitive plot line about mad scientist’s research true nature of human being in expanse of losing his own humanity by turning into a beast and executing it poorly! This is definitely waste of true potential!

I’m giving three stars because of its brilliant plot ! But skipping the book and watching movie adaptations is far better choice!

Here are my favorite quotes:

“You must suffer me to go my own dark way.”

“With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to the truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two”

“All human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone, in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil.”

“Jekyll had more than a father's interest; Hyde had more than a son's indifference.”

“It is one thing to mortify curiosity, another to conquer it.”
Profile Image for Brett C(urrently overseas again).
784 reviews165 followers
May 2, 2021

This was the first adult story I read when I was younger. I remember being captivated by the idea of a dual life and man's sinister shadowy side. Now many years later this story still had me enthralled. I enjoyed this story because it contains the elements of mystery, suspense, and psychological thriller. The writing is eloquent and almost lyrical that can only come from another time, yet is readable.

The descriptive imagery along the backdrop of a foggy, dark, and Jack the Ripperesque London set the stage perfectly. The duality of good vs. evil, conscious vs. unconscious, and steadfast rigidness vs. uncompromising pleasure were themes I interpreted.

This remains one of my favorite books after all these years. This is not the last time I read it. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys classic literature and a good story. Thanks!
Profile Image for Francesc.
391 reviews192 followers
August 8, 2022
Poco puedo decir sobre este clásico que no se haya dicho ya.
Me sorprenden las representaciones que el Sr. Hyde ha sufrido con el paso de los años, sobre todo, en el cine. Me había hecho una imagen muy equivocada del Sr. Hyde.
Hay muchos, muchos temas que subyacen a esta novela: la libertad de hacer lo que uno quiere sin someterse a las normas de la sociedad; el atractivo de la maldad; la inmortalidad; deseos reprimidos, etc, etc.
Te hace reflexionar mucho sobre uno mismo y las pulsiones más reprimidas que todos albergamos dentro y que pugnan por salir.
Además, Stevenson nos describe muy bien el Londres de la segunda mitad del siglo XIX. Crea un ambiente opresivo y místico aunque no llega a las cotas de Edgar Allan Poe.


There is little I can say about this classic that has not already been said.
I am amazed at the representations that Mr. Hyde has suffered over the years, especially in the cinema. I had a very wrong image of Mr. Hyde.
There are many, many themes underlying this novel: the freedom to do what one wants without submitting to society's rules; the lure of evil; immortality; repressed desires, etc, etc.
It makes you think a lot about yourself and the most repressed impulses that we all harbour inside and that struggle to come out.
In addition, Stevenson describes very well the London of the second half of the 19th century. He creates an oppressive and mystical atmosphere, although he doesn't reach the heights of Edgar Allan Poe.
Profile Image for فؤاد.
1,057 reviews1,724 followers
October 25, 2020
۱. هاروی دنت و دوچهره

ما شخصیت «دو-چهره» رو بیشتر از طریق فیلم «شوالیۀ تاریک» کریستوفر نولان می‌شناسیم. اما نولان توی خیلی از شخصیت‌های بتمن (از جمله خود بتمن) دست برده و تا حد زیادی تغییرشون داده. به خاطر همین منبع مطمئنی برای شناخت این شخصیت‌ها نیست. از جمله، یکی از خصوصیات مهم دو-چهره که توی فیلم شوالیۀ تاریک نشون داده نشده، دو شخصیتی بودنشه: نیمۀ سالم چهره‌ش همچنان هاروی دنتِ دادستان و درستکاره، و نیمۀ سوخته‌ش هاروی دنتِ جنایتکار و شیطانی. و از اون جایی که با نزاع دائم این دو هاروی دنت نمی‌تونه هیچ تصمیمی بگیره، ناچاره برای تصمیم‌گیری از یک سکه استفاده کنه که دو روی یک شکل داره، اما یکی از این دو روی یک شکل، مخدوش شده: مثل خود هاروی.

۲. دکتر بنر و هالک

دکتر «بروس بَنِر» دانشمندی معقول و حتی کمی خجالتی، با قرار گرفتن در معرض تشعشع‌های هسته‌ای به موجودی هیولاگون تبدیل میشه که نقطۀ مقابل تمام خصوصیات دکتر بنره. هیولایی غیرقابل کنترل و همیشه خشمگین، که کمابیش به نماد خشم جنون‌آمیز تبدیل شده: «هالک». هر وقت دکتر بنر دچار غلیان احساسی شدیدی بشه (خشم یا حتی اندوه شدید) ناخواسته تبدیل به هالک می‌شه و با نابود کردن هر چیزی که سر راهش باشه خودش رو تخلیه می‌کنه، و هر وقت تخلیه شد دوباره به دکتر بنر بی آزار تبدیل می‌شه.

۳. یونگ و سایه

یکی از کهن‌الگوهای یونگی که ناخودآگاه ما رو تشکیل می‌ده، کهن‌الگوی «سایه» است. سایه محل جمع شدن تمام خصوصیاتیه که ما در سطح خودآگاه نفرت‌آور می‌دونیم و سعی می‌کنیم تا حد ممکن ازشون اجتناب کنیم. تمام این اجتناب‌ها و سرکوب کردن‌ها باعث می‌شه سایه به منبع نیروی بسیار قدرتمندی تبدیل بشه، که همزمان می‌تونه خلّاق و ویرانگر باشه. یونگ معتقده: هر وقت فرد در حال متزلزل قرار بگیره (شاید به سبب غلیان احساسی شدید) سایه‌ای که تا به حال سرکوب می‌شد و در نتیجه مثل فنری که فشار داده بشه، انرژی بیشتر و بیشتری در خودش جمع می‌کرد، با تمام قدرت بالا میاد و تمام روان فرد رو تحت تسلط خودش می‌گیره و فرد رو به هیولای مهارناپذیری تبدیل می‌کنه.

۴. دکتر جکیل و آقای هاید

جناب رابرت لوییس استیونسن، یک شب کابوسی می‌بینه. کابوس کسی که دو نفر شده، یک دانشمند معقول و مبادی آداب، و یک هیولای غیر قابل کنترل و نفرت‌انگیز. و دانشمند به رغم خواست خودش، بیشتر و بیشتر معتاد به شخصیت شیطانیش می‌شه.
وقتی استیونسن از خواب بیدار می‌شه، شروع به نوشتن کابوسش در قالب یک رمان می‌کنه. وقتی رمان رو تموم می‌کنه، دوباره می‌خوندش و از نوشتۀ خودش دلزده می‌شه و دست نوشته‌ها رو می‌اندازه توی آتیش. اما مدتی بعد، پشیمون می‌شه و دوباره هر چی از رمان اصلی یادش مونده رو ظرف سه روز می‌نویسه و حاصلش می‌شه رمان حاضر.
این ماجرا خیلی قبل از اون بود که فروید و یونگ مطالعات مربوط به ناخودآگاه رو شروع کنن، و این رمان منبع الهام شخصیت‌ها و داستان‌های زیادی بعد از خودش (مثل دو-چهره و هالک) شد، و امروزه به عنوان ضرب‌المثلی برای دوگانگی شخصیت شناخته می‌شه.
Profile Image for Steven Medina.
189 reviews843 followers
October 26, 2021
Stevenson nunca me decepciona. Excelente historia.

Conocí esta historia, como probablemente muchísimas personas, gracias a los Looney Tunes. Es imposible olvidar ese capítulo tan clásico y divertido, en el que Piolín entra a un laboratorio para descansar un poco ya que Silvestre lo está persiguiendo con frenesí para comérselo; allí, y todos recordarán, Piolín ignorando el contenido de las probetas decide tomarse lo primero que encuentra porque tiene mucha sed. No obstante, para su sorpresa, para terror de Silvestre y para nuestra diversión, Piolín sufre una metamorfosis que lo vuelve un verdadero monstruo, pasando de ser perseguido a persecutor. ¡Pobre Silvestre, siempre desee que se tragara a Piolín! Pues bien, esa caricatura al igual que muchos programas de temática similar, realmente están basados en esta historia. En la inocencia de nuestra infancia no nos preguntamos de donde se originan las historias, solo las consumimos porque son divertidas o nos gustan, pero al crecer cambia todo, crecer también consiste en descubrir el pasado de nuestra raza, y conocer a los genios que crearon lo que nos gusta, importa, o necesitamos en nuestra vida. Libros como este no pasarán de moda jamás: Es imposible, son clásicos que nacieron para perdurar por siempre. En esta ocasión, el genio se llama Robert Stevenson —famoso por su también conocidísima La isla del Tesoro— que aquí nos muestra su mejor literatura, ingenio y capacidad de construir una historia perfecta. A veces cuando pienso en la muerte, siento que es una pena que personas con una capacidad tan grande para dejar huella en la humanidad, tengan que morir. Así es la vida, y se debe aceptar nuestro destino final, pero es una pena que genios como Stevenson transiten tan poco tiempo en este mundo llamado Tierra.

Desde los títulos de los capítulos que son bastante aclaratorios y que encienden la chispa de nuestra curiosidad, hasta la perfecta estructura del libro que consta de tan solo diez capítulos, hacen de esta lectura una historia adictiva que nos querremos comer de un solo bocado. Naturalmente, como ya conocemos por adaptaciones, caricaturas y demás el contexto de la historia, entonces será predecible lo que encontraremos en las páginas; no obstante eso deja de importar, porque empezamos a sentir curiosidad por la forma cómo se desarrollará la trama, y también por los motivos, historia y pensamientos que llevaron al científico a realizar su experimento. Lo mejor es que entre más avanzan las páginas más interesante se torna el libro, y este efecto no termina sino hasta cuando aparecen ante nuestros ojos la palabra «Fin». Las explicaciones, dudas o intrigas quedan perfectamente explicadas, e incluso me atrevo a decir que hace mucho no leía un final tan bien planteado y presentado como el que Stevenson nos regala en esta historia: Una real obra maestra.

Los personajes han estado bien elaborados, pero naturalmente toda la atención se la roba el Dr. Jekyll. El Dr. Jekyll es el claro ejemplo de que podemos llenar nuestros cerebros de miles de conocimientos, obtener diplomas, superar estudios y ser distinguidos por nuestro trabajo, pero si no somos capaces de —o no intentamos— buscar un espacio para aprender a conocer nuestras debilidades, avaricias, maldad oculta en el interior, y deseos más oscuros, entonces tarde que temprano sentiremos tentaciones, que si no sabemos controlar, nos llevarán a nuestra inevitable perdición. Si no evolucionamos, si no controlamos esa bestia interior que busca destrucción, nos transformaremos en una clase de putrefacción sin valor; en ese momento las piedras tendrán más valor que nosotros mismos. El Dr. Jekyll, y su doble personalidad, demuestran claramente que nunca dejaremos de tener maldad en nuestros corazones, por lo que lo importante es tomar el control de las decisiones de nuestra vida. ¿Cómo pueden nuestras decisiones afectar a los demás? ¿La conciencia nos castigará por los actos inmorales de nuestra irresponsabilidad? ¿Qué ganaremos, qué perderemos? Eso sí, quiero aclarar que no juzgo las decisiones del Dr. Jekyll porque cualquier persona, en una situación similar, podría tomar el mismo camino. Reconocer que sé es viejo, no debe ser fácil; reconocer que no tenemos salud para movernos como antes, tampoco debe ser sencillo; y tener a nuestro alcance la posibilidad de probar un experimento revolucionario, debe producir mucha tentación en nuestros pensamientos. Realmente, este personaje es una genialidad, psicológicamente es muy interesante para analizarlo.

Asimismo, esta historia es interesante para meditar sobre los riesgos de usar la ciencia con irresponsabilidad. Sí, se deben hacer miles de experimentos para progresar como humanidad, pero el problema es cuando se experimenta sin ser prudentes; el problema es cuando la obsesión de un descubrimiento o avance científico lleva a la humanidad a actuar con histeria. Esas ansias de tener fama, de «ser alguien en la vida», de «ser los primeros», de «ser más poderosos», pueden producir más daño y consecuencias que las buenas intenciones. Reconozco que hay situaciones que necesitan soluciones inmediatas, pero es un gran problema que siempre se requiera para todo, ese tipo de soluciones. Las respuestas rápidas traen errores, y esos errores traen más problemas: Es un ciclo interminable. Esta obra siempre se clasificará como una historia de terror, pero también podría clasificarse como una seria crítica hacia la irresponsabilidad científica y a la locura de la curiosidad.

En resumen, una historia que me ha dejado completamente satisfecho en todos los aspectos (Prosa, argumento, personajes, ritmo y final), y que me incita a leer más obras del autor. Llevó cuatro escritos leídos de Stevenson —El diablo de la botella, La isla del tesoro, El ladrón de cadáveres, y este libro—, y en todos he finalizado muy complacido por el contenido. En este momento me siento tan a gusto con el autor, que incluso surge en mí, el deseo de repetir La isla del tesoro que ya he leído dos veces anteriormente. Sería ilógico no recomendar a uno de mis autores favoritos, sería ilógico después de todo lo escrito no puntuar esta obra con cinco estrellas, sería ilógico que esta historia no se fuera directo a mis favoritos. Excelente libro.
Profile Image for Luís.
1,861 reviews519 followers
April 28, 2023
It begins with an apparent relatively joint police investigation. It ends in a fantastic, scientific, psychological, and philosophical apotheosis with Doctor Jekyll's journal, revealing the end of the story.
From London at the end of the 19th century, the contrast between the beautiful districts around Regent's Park and the murky Soho is striking. Jekyll lives in one, and Hyde in the other. The first has good manners; the second is brutal. Jekyll offers tea. Hyde can kill for free.
To find the evil Hyde, Mr. Utterson, a lawyer friend of Jekyll, conducts a personal investigation. Naturally, this approach will confuse the assassin. But, with the discovery of Jekyll's journal, the story ends in a big way.
This hundred-page work by R.L.Stevenson (Treasure Island). Here is the big gap with the sea or on the back of a donkey in the Cévennes. The fantastic dimension comes from the fact that he developed one of his nightmares in writing, then read articles by Charcot and then Freud on hysteria.
Besides, Hyde's name means hidden, but when this unconscious resurfaces, we can say it appears hideous to our conscience!
Profile Image for Fernando.
680 reviews1,092 followers
August 30, 2017
El Señor preguntó a Caín: “¿Dónde está tu hermano?” Él respondió: “No lo sé, ¿acaso soy el guardián de mi hermano?”

Este genial libro de Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson es lo que yo llamo un clásico con todas las letras. Uno de esos clásicos que demuestra que no necesita tener mil páginas para transformarse en algo inolvidable. Menos de cien páginas le bastaron a esta pequeña (pero gran) novela de Stevenson para tomar lo mejor del Romanticismo y la temática del doble y crear una historia con el suspense necesario para llevarnos a un final acorde a la trama que nos ofrece.
Gran parte de los ideales románticos está ahí, haciendo hincapié en el titanismo y sobre todo en la lucha del bien y el mal que todos poseemos como seres humanos.
El caso del Dr. Jekyll es el claro ejemplo de querer hacer el bien para terminar sucumbiendo al peor de los pecados y terminar en la más baja vileza y crueldad puesto que él mismo acepta esta condición a la que se expone tomando su dosis cuando afirma: "Ser tentado, para mí, significaba caer".
Jekyll basa su condena a partir de lo que el denomina su defecto, ese defecto que se potencia asumiendo la monstruosa apariencia del Sr. Hyde y este pecado lo destruye y consume: "Más que defectos graves, fueron, por lo tanto, mis excesivas aspiraciones a hacer de mí lo que he sido, y a separar de mí, más radicalmente que en otros, esas dos zonas del bien y del mal que dividen y componen la doble naturaleza del hombre."
No es el primer personaje en ser tironeado por estas dos antagónicas fuerzas. Algunos lo hacen adrede, otros en forma involuntaria, pero en términos generales, el bien versus el mal está en casi todas las novelas o cuentos que uno lea.
Pienso en algunos casos y me vienen a la mente “El retrato de Dorian Gray” de Oscar Wilde, “Crimen y Castigo” de Fiódor Dostoievki, “Los elixires del Diablo”, de E.T.A. Hoffmann y el “El hombre invisible” de H.G. Wells.
Creo que Dorian Gray y Griffin (El hombre invisible) son los personajes que más puntos tienen en común con Henry Jekyll, ya que que en esos casos la lucha no da tregua. El paralelismo entre Griffin y Jekyll es sorprendente, puesto que lo que en un principio y a partir de lo científico parece ser un avance, una mejora o un descubrimiento, rápidamente se convertirá en una maldición muy difícil de controlar y los resultados serán nefastos.
En el libro “Los hermanos Karamazov”, Dmitri afirma que “El corazón del hombre es el campo de batalla donde luchan Dios y el Diablo.”
Pienso en el pobre Dr. Jekyll y me doy cuenta de que ya perdió esa batalla de antemano.
Profile Image for Ginger.
753 reviews372 followers
March 15, 2020

Due to going to Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands in a couple of months, I wanted to read a few books set in this area or at least by a Scottish author.


Robert Louis Stevenson with his well-loved classic, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!

I love reading good classics and I enjoyed this one! Mr. Utterson is investigating the presence of a person called Edward Hyde who is in contact with his good friend, the doctor Henry Jekyll.
Hyde is evil, abhorrent and Mr. Utterson can't understand why his friend Jekyll has relations with this person.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a twisted tale and a great one to read. There's something so strange of a person


The great thing about internet sleuthing is finding out that this book might have been based off a real person. William Brodie, a well-respected man in Scotland who was a cabinet maker. He was also on the city council because of his influence and wealth.


He was also a skilled locksmith and had duplicate copies of house keys made of his clients' homes.
Yeah, that's not going to end well. He robbed them blind! Brodie used his double life to indulge in his own vices from gambling, mistresses and even cock fighting.
I can't wait to go to the pub, Deacon Brodies Tavern in Edinburgh and have a drink to this two faced mastermind.

Kudos to Robert Louis Stevenson for creating a unforgettable classic!
Profile Image for Repellent Boy.
488 reviews506 followers
February 9, 2020
En parte es una pena que esta historia sea tan archiconocida, porque el misterio principal se pierde y quizás es lo que sorprende del relato. Me hubiera gustado ir sin saber, pero eso, con tanta fama y tantas adaptaciones era imposible. Aún así, me ha gustado bastante, y me he llevado alguna pequeña sorpresa.

La primera de las sorpresitas es que siempre di por hecho que la historia no solo se centraría en Jekyll y Hyde, si no que la veríamos desde el punto de vista de ellos, pero me equivocaba de todas todas. La historia va a ser narrada por un amigo de Jekyll, el abogado mr. Utterson. Este señor irá descubriendo con el paso de los días, que algo raro pasa en relación a su buen amigo Jekyll, y ese extraño y perverso personajillo llamado Hyde.

El relato tiene tensión, tiene escenas escalofriantes, que lo podrían haber sido más, si fueras a ciegas a esta novela. Igualmente, se le concede el mérito. Y también lo tiene otra cosa que no me esperaba, y es que esas transformaciones son, inicialmente buscadas y deseadas, siempre pensé que era algo que ocurría sin nignún tipo de control. Curioso que esto de pie al juicio moralista de la época sobre el vicio y como luchar contra él. Varios debates interesantes se abren.

¿Parte mala? Su brevevedad y también, nuevamente, ir sabiendo el final. El resto genial. Un clásico de la novela gótica que hay que leer, indudablemente.
Profile Image for Nataliya Yaneva.
165 reviews323 followers
March 9, 2020
Bulgarian review below/Ревюто на български е по-долу
“If he be Mr. Hyde”, he had thought, “I shall be Mr. Seek”.
If “Jekyll and Hyde” was a painting, it would’ve been Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”. If it was a mental illness, it would’ve been dissociative identity disorder, not schizophrenia, as is the popular guess if there’s more than one of you inside your head. I would say that the story can also be likened to a long dark tea-time of the soul, because it would take you just that much to read it. Beware however, for you will ponder it for a long time afterwards and it’ll make your flesh creep.

I suppose it can be argued that in each of us there’s something we cannot fully explain. It happens to be seen “in a bad light”, we “jump out of our skin” or we “are out of our senses”. Thinking about it, we have a slight obsession for others to perceive us in our good half, or third, or however many sides we imagine that we have. This is probably also related to the prehistoric fear of banishment from the community, which meant certain death due to the lack of mammoth meat for dinner, or the roar of a predatory saber-toothed cat instead of “good morning”. The strain to appear more normal than we actually are is one of the curses of mankind. Sometimes the exertion of this exhausts us completely, and we even begin to wonder if there is such a thing as “normality”. The answer, of course, is always “no”.

In his Gothic novel, Robert Louis Stevenson carries to excess the good Dr. Jekyll’s struggle with his inner demons, and thus the blood-chilling Hyde appears. What better metaphor for the guileful human nature than being both the protagonist and the antagonist of one’s own life. One would have thought that if you cut off the sprout of evil in yourself and throw it away like a weed, it would be some sort of an ending. However, weeds have the annoying propensity to grow under all types of unfavorable conditions, unlike goodness, which, alas, requires quite special care and everlasting nourishment. Mr. Hyde, uprooted and then sprouting, left alone to his own devilish devices, slowly begins to choke his creator. The natural course of everything is towards chaos. Many efforts are needed to harness the chaos in one’s soul. Denial though only aggravates the situation.

Mr. Hyde is an allegory of the evil which smoulders in each of us. The scientific exorcism practiced by Jekyll eloquently shows the catastrophic consequences when one isn’t reconciled with all pieces of their own nature and is trying to be something they are not. It also shows that if you try to trick the much needed equilibrium in nature, nothing good is in store for you. I don’t entirely agree with Sartre, who thinks “hell is other people”. Hell is always in our own consciousness. And everything that it shows us is just an illusion.

“If he be Mr. Hyde”, he had thought, “I shall be Mr. Seek”,
Ако „Джекил и Хайд“ беше картина, щеше да е „Викът“ на Едвард Мунк. Ако беше заболяване, щеше да е дисоциативно разстройство на личността, не шизофрения, както е популярно да се смята, ако сте повече от един там някъде вътре. Бих казала, че историята може да се оприличи и на дълъг, мрачен следобеден чай на душата, защото толкова би ви отнело да я прочетете. Колко време след това ще си мислите за нея и ще настръхвате, е съвсем друг въпрос.

Предполагам може да се поспори, че във всеки от нас пребивава по нещо, което не можем напълно да обясним. Случва се да ни видят „в лоша светлина“, „излизаме извън кожата си“ или „не сме на себе си“. Като се замисля, имаме лека обсебеност другите да ни възприемат откъм добрата ни половина, третина или колкото там страни си въобразява всеки, че има. Вероятно това е свързано с праисторическия страх от отлъчване от общността, който означавал сигурна смърт поради липса на мамутско месо за вечеря или рев на кръвожаден саблезъб вместо „добро утро“. Напрежението да се покажем по-нормални, отколкото всъщност сме, е едно от проклятията на човечеството. Понякога усилието от това ни изцежда напълно и като цяло започваме да се питаме има ли такова нещо като „нормалност“. Отговорът, разбира се, винаги е „не“.

В своята готическа новела Робърт Луис Стивънсън довежда до крайност схватката на добрия доктор Джекил с вътрешните му бесове и така се появява смразяващият кръвта Хайд. Каква по-добра метафора на лукавата човешка природа от това да си едновременно протагонистът и антагонистът на собствения си живот. Човек би помислил, че ако откъснеш издънката на злото у себе си и я захвърлиш като плевел, това ще е нещо като край. Плевелите обаче имат досадното свойство да растат при всякакви неблагоприятни условия, за разлика от доброто, на което, уви, му трябват доста специални грижи и непрекъснато подхранване. Господин Хайд, изтръгнат и после покълнал, оставен сам на себе си и собствените си дяволски развлечения, бавно започва да задушава създателя си. Естествен��ят ход на всичко е към хаос. Много усилия трябват, за да се овладее хаосът в нечия душа. Отричането обаче само влошава положението.

Господин Хайд е алегория на злото, което тлее по малко във всеки. Научният екзорсизъм, който практикува Джекил, красноречиво показва катастрофалните последици, когато някой не се е помирил с всички части на собствената си същност и се опитва да бъде нещо, което не е. Показва също и че ако се опитате да изиграете равновесието, което е необходимо в природата, не ви чака нищо добро. Не съм напълно съгласна със Сартр, който смята, че „адът – това са другите“. Адът винаги е в собственото ни съзнание. А всичко, което то ни показва, е просто илюзия.
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
April 7, 2017
It seems like I've been familiar with the "good" Dr. Jekyll and the "evil" Mr. Hyde all my life, but the thing that most struck me, once I finally got around to actually reading this classic, is--other than their outward appearance--how alike these two aspects of the same man actually are.

Dr. Jekyll has always been aware of the duality in his character: he admits to some apparently fairly serious youthful indiscretions, and even when he consciously puts his vices behind him for a time, he always feels the yearning to give into them again. When he creates the potion that transforms him into Hyde, he's not leaving only his virtues with Jekyll and putting all his evil aspects into Hyde:
... although I had now two characters as well as two appearances, one was wholly evil, and the other was still the old Henry Jekyll, that incongruous compound of whose reformation and improvement I had already learned to despair. The movement was thus wholly toward the worse.
So Henry Jekyll still has all of his original hidden vices, and Hyde seems to me to be just a way for him to let the evil side of himself loose without (Jekyll thinks) fear of repercussions. But Hyde isn't purely evil either--there seems to be more of Jekyll's character in Hyde than the good doctor is willing to admit, or Hyde wouldn't always have been so anxious to turn himself back into Jekyll, like when he writes the frantic letter to his friend for help. I think our doctor is a bit of an unreliable narrator.

It's interesting to think about the symbolism of the names here: the "good" doctor carries the name "Je (French for "I") kill," and the evil Hyde is the part of Jekyll himself that he was always trying to hide.

Most of the other characters also seem to have their hidden vices. There's a lot of discussion and symbolism in the book about dual natures: the city itself, and even Jekyll's home, have a proper/degenerate dichotomy, with good and bad co-existing side by side. Certainly this was a major issue in Victorian times, when people in society wanted to appear very proper, but there was some major hidden sleaziness and vice.

I'm not sure, in the end, what the book is trying to say is the cure for this problem. Repression doesn't appear to work very well, but at the same time, Jekyll's woes and eventual death come from his caving in to his evil desires, hidden or not. Maybe there are no easy answers.

Actor Richard Mansfield portrayed Jekyll and Hyde in a theater production in the 1880's (so well that he was suspected of being Jack the Ripper!)

Buddy read with Jeff, Anne, Holly, Stepheny, Delee and Dustin. A big thanks to Anne for hosting our party! Sorry if we trashed your house!
Profile Image for Susan Budd.
Author 7 books212 followers
October 30, 2021
I had to read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde a few times before I could expel the legion of Dr. Jekylls and Mr. Hydes that infested my imagination. Countless pop culture references have robbed the story of the suspense and surprise that early readers must have enjoyed. But suspense and surprise are cheap pleasures compared to the richness that lies in the text.

Stevenson has written a perfect nightmare. Everything about the story is dream-like. It begins with Utterson crossing into liminal space while taking a Sunday afternoon stroll with his cousin Enfield. One moment they are passing bright, clean, inviting shop fronts. The next, they come upon a dark and squalid building. Utterson doesn’t know it yet, but he has just entered the Twilight Zone.

From this point on, the atmosphere is relentlessly and preternaturally gloomy. There’s a perpetual fog. The labyrinthine streets are sinister in the gaslight. This is not just nineteenth century London. This is a “city in a nightmare” (71).

The night after a brutal murder, Utterson escorts the police to Hyde’s house. It is nine o’clock in the morning, but it might as well be nighttime. Even when the darkness lifts, it is brief. And these glimpses of light only serve to better highlight the darkness. The story of the Carew murder evokes more horror because it follows an illusory return to light and ordinary life.

Like a dream, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is many-layered. There are dreams within the dream. Narratives within the narrative. Communication is oblique. Lanyon will not speak to Utterson about Jekyll. Jekyll will not reveal his reasons for avoiding Utterson. When Lanyon and Jekyll finally tell their stories, it is from the grave.

Utterson both keeps secrets and has secrets kept from him. The secrecy and silence create a mental claustrophobia. The anxiety of not knowing what is going on. The anxiety of knowing too much. Of being dangerously close to the arcane machinery that lurks behind the façade of the workaday and ordinary. His isolation is palpable.

Also like a dream, no time seems to pass between the scenes. It is simply a “fortnight later” (65). “Nearly a year later” (68). Scenes recur. A second Sunday stroll leads Utterson and Enfield to Jekyll’s window just as their stroll had previously led them to Hyde’s door.

Windows and doors are liminal places. Portals into other worlds. Private worlds. Forbidden worlds. Utterson and Enfield see Jekyll at his window at the moment he begins his involuntary transformation into Hyde. A maid looks through her window and sees Hyde murder Carew. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde begins with Hyde’s door and ends with Jekyll’s door.

The pièce de résistance of this nightmare is the nebulous yet persistent impression that something isn’t quite right about Hyde. He inspires repugnance in everyone who sees him. Enfield says it best: “he gives a strong feeling of deformity, although I couldn’t specify the point” (53). Though reason cannot specify the point, something deeper and more instinctual within us recoils in disgust and horror.

When I first read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I read it as a psychological and moral story. Jekyll’s story. But later it was the dream-like quality of the book that took hold of my imagination. Then I read it as a nightmare. And it is Utterson’s nightmare, not Jekyll’s. Everything in a dream is so much more than it seems. And that is true of Stevenson’s nightmare as well.
Profile Image for محمد مكرم.
65 reviews133 followers
December 27, 2019
ما الذي يحدث عندما يطلق العلم العنان لرغبات الأنسان ودوافعه البدائية كي تطفو على السطح؟ وهل يمكن أن يتحول الأنسان من النقيض للنقيض في بضع لحظات لا أكثر
رواية رائعة لأحد أفضل كتاب أدب الخيال العلمي روبرت لويس ستيفنسون والتي ألهمت خيال الكتاب على مر العصور للخروج بثيمات أخرى مشابهه
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