My Thoughts on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
It is reading books like this, published over a hundred years ago (in fact, it was published 96 years before I was born) that reinforces Classic Literature as my favorite genre, well, second favorite genre, if you are one of those who also consider to works of Charles Dickens to be a genre all to themselves.
I loved the style of story telling Stevenson uses in telling this classic tale of a man with two personalities. Previous to reading the book, I was familiar with a handful of cartoon parodies and retellings of Jekyll & Hyde. The most memorable I can think of is Looney Tunes “Dr. Jerkyl’s Hide” where Sylvester the Cat is chased into Dr. Jerkyl’s lab by a couple dogs. Most recently, I was introduced to the Broadway production “Jekyll & Hyde” a few months back when my good friend, and fellow fantasy author, KR Martin, recommended it to me. So I knew the basics, there was a doctor obsessed with human nature, he wanted to scientifically prove the fundamental difference between good and evil, and show that he could separate the good of a man from his evil tenancies by way of potion.
Therefore when I read the book, and learned that the original story was indeed told from the point of view of Dr. Jekyll’s lawyer, I was a little surprised but mostly impressed.
Dr. Jekyll’s obsession with understanding the fundamental difference between the good and evil inherent in every man who ever lived. Mr. Hyde’s desire to grow stronger and become his own man.
Dr. Jekyll’s friends concern for him, while despising influence they believe the unruly Mr. Hyde has over their good doctor friend.
I do not want to go into any spoilers beyond what is commonly known in pop culture about Jekyll and Hyde’s story, so let it suffice to say that I greatly enjoyed this unique look into the human psyche. The thought provoking unasked question, of what would Mr. Hyde look like if I took the potion. And the even greater question, what would my response be to such a potion. Would I dare drink it? Would I loose control of my abilities and need Mr. Hyde after first making his acquaintance?