The Duality in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Malek Allari | Editor-In-Chief


The duality in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a fascinating idea and element that helps the story to convey itself. It also shows the conflict between a person who wants to have a public profile, and at the same time, to be comfortable and free in private. Dr. Jekyll was the public image, and Mr. Hyde was the private free persona that Dr. Jekyll created.

Dr. Jekyll

Dr. Jekyll is the persona that the people know in London. He acts and says things to protect his public image and reputation. He is careful with what he does with the people around him so that he does not cause trouble for himself that will affect him. He is well-civilized and mindful of the way he acts and with the people he surrounds himself with.

Dr. Jekyll is disciplined and considered a good character because he saves people’s lives since he is a doctor and makes medicine. He is sincere and honest with the people of his community. He is a man of virtue who knows and is aware of what is good and not. In the story, he is also considered the “father” persona. However, Dr. Jekyll tries his hardest to suppress his other persona and develops a medicine and chemical.

Mr. Hyde

Mr. Hyde is the persona that Dr. Jekyll creates within himself to have the freedom of doing anything he wants, without the fear of impacting his public image or reputation among the people. Mr. Hyde is violent with other people, abusive, careless, and impulsive. At the start of the story, the readers read about a person who bumped into a little girl and continued without checking on her.

Also, Mr. Hyde is shorter and younger than Dr. Jekyll, representing the freedom of youth and the idiocy that comes with it. He is the “evil” persona in this story who does ugly things to other people and normally continues his day. Mr. Hyde follows his desires and finds pleasure in being free from what people think and how they view him. He is considered the “son” persona since he looks younger and shorter than Dr. Jekyll.

Scottish Interpretation

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde represent different aspects and views of the British people. People can interpret Dr. Jekyll as the civilized Englishman that everyone likes and respects. At the same time, Mr. Hyde is the savage Scottish man that kills and hurts people for pleasure. However, it can also be interpreted as when the English took over the Scottish people, the English tried to “make them civilized” and suppress the Scottish people from wearing their traditional dresses and practicing their traditions.

To stay to his “nature,” Dr. Jekyll, who represents what the English want to see the Scottish as, has created his Mr. Hyde persona. Mr. Hyde can be the “true” Scottish man by being evil, savage, and careless, stereotypes created by the English.

In this story, Dr. Jekyll is a civilized Lowlander, while Mr. Hyde is a Highlander with animalistic instincts.