Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mister hide and dr. jekyll

One- sorry this is posted late; my internet at home went down last night.

What can one say about this novel; it’s a classic- one of the novels that started science fiction. One thing I love about this novel is the duality that exists between the characters. First, the obvious duality between dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde- dr. Jekyll is the up standing, handsome, moral, Freudian super-ego; while Mr. Hyde is the un-moral, animalistic, grotesquely undefinable, Freudian id. The duality between the two characters that exist with in the same frame- is at the core the same man. Mr. Hyde does only what Dr. Jekyll is afraid to do, what society prevents him from doing. Mr. Hyde does horrible things, some of them very vague. the duality that exists in this novel is comparative to that of schizophrenia but sadly- its a willing schizophrenia. I think it does bring some attention to the blight of schizophrenia.
Another duality is the male/male relationship and the severe lack of any significant female role. This was also present in Frankenstein. I think the lack of any female role is certainly something to pay attention to. The hollow male/male relationship between Mr. Utterson and Dr. Jekyll is a perfect example. These men have no pending business, or really anything to say, but because it is routine and the men are ‘old friends’, these men will forego all other social invitations to be with the other man. I also think the lack of any female presence is significant. I think this may be a sexual statement. Women during this time were not in men’s business- and this is a story about the professional Victorian man. I think the separation of the sexes and a woman’s place is loudly stated through its absence and its lack of significance with in the novel. The woman’s place was in the home, a vast realm removed from that of the man’s business world. This is opposite of Frankenstein because though there are no female characters; the want of the monster for a female creation, the want of a mate- creates a ghostly female presence for the novel as a whole. But the only possibility for a female presence is through Mr. Hyde’s vague experiences. Perhaps one of those ‘blocked’ experiences was of a sexual nature.
I think the absence of any male sexual experience is also significant. The Dr. Jekyll character wouldn’t been seen having sex because he represents the ideal Victorian man. He is smart, polished, sociable, and in his own realm; it would have been out of his staunch Victorian character to engage openly in sexual acts. As he is our narrator for a portion of the novel, his sexual experiences wouldn’t be written down for our view. I feel like Mr. Hyde should have sexual experiences, the lack of them is seemingly unfulfilling to me. As it is a Victorian novel sexual experiences are often coded and hidden- but here they are completely absent.

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