Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a gothic novella by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson published in 1886. It is about a London lawyer (Utterson) who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde. The topic we are going to talk about is of appearances, how Jekyll control a daily double life, in which Hyde is an adventurous man, but he is rejected by the society.
To begin with, we use to define an appearance as “the way a person or thing looks to other people” (Cambridge, dictionary, 2018). Analyzing the book, and our daily living, the relation this two have are very similar. In the book, Jekyll lives a double life, a life full of lies, he has to show a respected man, a helpful and polite person, the truth is that his life is empty, he doesn’t have risk, adrenalin, adventure; the Victorian era (when was made this book) was strict, the people had to be polite, respectful, without problems, and hide their sickness. Jekyll could not be free because the society was oppressing him. For that reason, Jekyll as a doctor, creates a poison in which he can switch personalities, bringing to life to Hyde, a rude, disrespectful, ugly and risky man, who doesn’t think about his appearance.
Secondly, appearances became an important part in this book, because in the places and streets is evident how the life of each character is represented in many things. For example, the house is a clear example of it; on one hand, Jekyll’s entrance is clean, nice and taken care by the servants. On the other hand, Hyde’s entrance is dirty, disorganized and ugly. Through the book, the personality of both is in the setting, but few readers take into account that point. Another fact is the religion, in which takes part in this story because many Christians believes that to “abstain from all appearance of evil” is to avoid any action that anyone might believe as evil. Not only we escape from what is evil, we escape from that which appears to be evil.
In conclusion, the analysis of this story only led one question: Why is Dr. Jekyll so concerned with keeping up appearances? And what appearance is he trying to keep? In this world everyone keep an appearance that don’t want to show all time, and in this story Jekyll want to be both persons but in the era he was living he had to keep the evil side (Mr. Hyde) because in the Victorian London, people can’t express their feelings out in the street, everyone had to be polite and quite shy.