Study of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
How does Stevenson show the reader the extent of henry Jekyll’s torment in the final section of the novella “Henry Jekyll’s full statement of the case”? Stevenson shows the reader the extent of Henry Jekylls torment in “Henry Jekylls full statement of the case. Jekylls torment is seen throughout the chapter. We see the ideas like the torment of divided self, shame and remorse, self-destruction and suicidal thoughts (and the fear they create) the torment of temptation and addiction. These are just some of the main ideas throughout Henry Jekylls full statement of the case.
The torment of the divided self is clearly seen throughout this chapter. Jekyll doesn’t know what state he wants to remain in; Edward Hyde or Henry Jekyll. It is as if he is having a war within himself. At the start of this novella we see that Jekyll uses Hyde as a division, but now he feels its slavery” My new power tempted me until I fell in slavery”. Stevenson uses this to show the reader that Hyde has the upper hand on Jekyll, as if he is in control of Jekylls body. “The difficulty had been to throw off the body of Jekyll, it had of late. Gradually but decidedly transferred itself to the other side. This clearly shows that Jekyll has little power of Hyde, he has lost control. Jekylls state reminds me of a drug addict. They try it for a start and have control, but then as time passes the drug starts controlling them. Consequently in Jekylls case he has experienced the torment of the divided self. In this chapter Jekyll goes through stages of shame and remorse. We see this when Stevenson writes in first person that Jekyll sees himself as “despised and friendless” He mentions that he is despised and friendless after what he did to both Lanyon and Utterson.
Not only does he feel friendless and despised he lost confidence, self-esteem. “ I was suddenly aware that I had lost stature”. He feels remorse from getting both Lanyon and Utterson involved in his personal torment. This consequently led to Lanyons shock caused death. His shame came about him after Hyde brutally murdered a man in the street. Jekyll felt guilty for his rage in Hydes form. He felt that he should be held responsible. This leads me to my next point about his self-destruction and suicidal thoughts. Stevenson makes Jekyll feel responsible for Hydes doing, after all it was Jekyll but in a different physical and mental state.
Stevenson makes us feel sorry for Jekyll in a way; after all it was not entirely his doing. This is what Stevenson was using to make the reader feel as if they knew Jekyll. He portrayed Jekyll as this presentable social man, but now he has changed for the worse with the constant change to Hyde. Jekyll is now seen as a self-harming man, with a bomb full of thoughts ticking away inside him eager to explode. He is destructing himself, consequently leading Jekyll to suicidal thoughts. His suicidal thoughts didn’t come in the way of self-harm in his present state but in Hydes state.
Stevenson used Hyde as a prison or a punishment. Jekyll believed that him transforming into Edward Hyde would be as close as he could get to suicide, this is due to Hyde’s destructive nature. Hyde was already on the look out from the police, his house in Soho was taken by the police so Jekyll had enough of his self-infliction in Jekylls state. It was time for him to face the consequences of Hydes doing. I believe that Stevenson made Jekyll think that not only was he punishing himself turning into Hyde he also felt an urge to get back to his reckless side.
Almost like a drug addict. It is evident that Jekyll no doubt had moments of self-destruction and suicidal thoughts. Stevenson makes Jekyll out to be a drug addict by the end of the chapter. He is hooked, addicted and has a huge temptation to become Hyde. Jekylls addiction is seen when Stevenson relates him to a drug addict “ I neither gave up the house in Soho, nor destroyed the clothes of Edward Hyde”. What Jekyll is trying to convey here is that he is not done with Hyde, he will keep it there just incase he wanted release.
Jekyll was tempted and was addicted this lead to him taking the potion. “My devil had been long caged, he came out roaring” This shows this inner beast eating away at Jekyll. This links in with his self-destruction. I honestly felt sorry for Jekyll at this moment. He released this beast once again and once again he raged. “ He mauled the unresisting old man without defence”. Stevenson was very clever with this because he made us feel sorry for Jekyll at the release of Hyde but then lets Hyde rage at an innocent “unresisting old man”. This put me in two minds about Jekyll/Hyde.
A typical drug addict you feel sorry for because it is what is inside that is controlling you, but then when that leads to your irrational actions I have no sympathy. This is exactly what I felt about Jekyll/Hydes addicted state. In this chapter Stevenson nails the torment that Jekyll suffers. He makes the reader feel sympathetic at times through his descriptive language and imagery. This chapter is jam packed with many forms of torment. Many are too hard to conquer. Stevenson made Jekylls first person accounts make the reader feel pitiful for Jekyll.