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Book Review: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (~1886) by Robert Louis Stevenson

“I have done that, says my memory. I cannot have done that – says my pride and remains unshakeable. Eventually, the memory yields.”

Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic 1886 novel is primarily a thriller and serves as an allegory of the morality of good and evil, personified into the clashing personalities of character(s) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The novel is told through various perspectives. Primarily we follow a lawyer, Mr. Utterson, he has been tasked to carry out the will and testament of one Dr. Henry Jekyll which stipulates that in the event of his decease or disappearance all possessions of his are to be imparted to one Mr. Edward Hyde, a sinister, disfigured man of mystery with no known associates or personal history. As this novel was written and set at the height of the Victorian era, social standing and reputation are front and foremost priorities for most characters and as such Mr. Utterson, not particularly wanting to be associated with the likes of Edward Hyde, sets out to uncover the mystery behind how the well-respected Dr. Jekyll came to be associated with him and ultimately settles on the thought that Jekyll has been blackmailed by Hyde in some way. From here the core incident of the novel takes place, namely Hyde’s commitment of murder and subsequent disappearance and manhunt before approaching the final events of the narrative.

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