Essay Mr Hyde the necessary Monster

Submitted By Madee_Ellis
Words: 653
Pages: 3

Madee Ellis

Schoen English IV

September 23, 2014

Mr. Hyde the Necessary Monster in Victorian England

Characters driven to extreme decisions because of the implacable and unrelenting

forces of a society or culture demanding conformity and threatening banishment for nonconformity is an occurrence frequently portrayed in literature. Furthermore, no culture takes on this oppressive personality quite to the extent of late Victorian English culture. Its unyielding and inflexible commitment to overly-strict social rules and expectations are famous for bending, and often times crushing, the wills of its citizens-including those of the upperclass who often find the pressure too much to bear. Robert Louis Stevenson captures this struggle explicitly in his classic The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the revered, respected, and socially acceptable Victorian gentleman responds to this circumstance by employing his scientific genius to create a questionable solution; he concocts a potion that allows him to transform into an alternate being who is allowed to navigate a dubious existence forbidden for Jekyll himself. The resulting Mr. Hyde is not only affront to Victorian standards of existence, but is also popularly considered a monster by most human standards as well. The question, however, becomes whether Hyde is the
“necessary” monster in light of the overly rigid Victorian landscape known for denying humans the right to follow their free will. Stevenson’s The Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
Hyde suggests that Mr. Hyde’s existence is not an accidental occurrence, but instead is a natural reaction to a society so unforgiving and so intolerant of the wants and needs of the individual. The strict social rules and expectations of the Victorian era restrict humans the basic

right to express their feelings and true personalities. Mr. Hyde is used as a prime example to prove that the Victorian society is imperfect and has dualities that the values of the Victorian era contradict, basically leading to the destruction of a person. As stated in the novel by
Utterson “He began to go wrong, wrong in mind; and though of course I continue to take an interest in him for old sake's sake, as they say, I see and I have seen devilish little of the man”
(2.9). Dr. Jekyll creates Hyde not in the mind set of him being a monster, but instead as an escape from the reality he knows as his life. The pressure of not living up to social expectations affected Jekyll his whole life, therefore causing the