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How Has Your Study of the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and an Appropriation of Your Own Choosing Enhanced Your Understanding of How and Why Cultural Values Are Maintained and Changed?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By shenpimanda
Words 1076
Pages 5
How has your study of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and an appropriation of your own choosing enhanced your understanding of how and why cultural values are maintained and changed?
“The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson, follows the duplicitous notion of a single body containing both the erudite Dr. Jekyll and the depraved Mr. Hyde. Stevenson’s novella imagines an inextricable link between civilization and savagery, and the palpable influence of cultural value and standard. Set within the height of the Victorian era circa 1886, this duality of human nature is examined by a specific Eurocentric interpretation, narrated by the mild-mannered lawyer Mr Utterson. Steven Moore’s filmic appropriation of the original novella is the BBC television series “Jekyll”, which encapsulates the similar split personality of Dr Tom Jackman and his alter ego ‘Mr Hyde’, within today’s current context. Through analysis of both the novella and the first episode of the film adaptation, a clear similarity between both protagonist’s circumstances is observed. However, the effects societal interpretation has on this controversy is varied in such a way, which distorts the very nature of duplicity, and thus the definition of the classic trope of Jekyll and Hyde.
Social respectability and the desire to pursue pleasure both offer the fantasy solution of having a second self to carry the burden of one’s vices. Dr Jekyll explores the circumstance of an educated, Victorian man who pursues pleasure free of the inhibiting threat of social ostracism; with the creation of a second persona. Dr. Jekyll confesses that he possessed a “gaiety of disposition” that could not be reconciled with his desire “to carry my head high, and wear a more than commonly grave countenance before the public.” Even before he learned to transform himself into Mr. Hyde, he “stood...

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