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First Place, 2014-2015 Best Gateway Essay Contest

Gateway Professor: Adam Woodis, German, Russian & Asian Languages

Abstract

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The mention of these two people will evoke a specific thought in most people’s minds: good and evil; light and dark; normal and deformed. However, the truth isn’t nearly so simple. Humans are free, and therefore a mixture of good and evil; accordingly, both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are neither solely good nor evil. Due to the stifling sexual and social repression in Victorian society, Jekyll became convinced that he could somehow purge himself of the evil inside him by splitting his soul; this, however, had far graver consequences than he suspected. Due to his experiment, Jekyll caused a tragic amount of human suffering and even death, culminating in his own complete destruction. What he failed to understand and what I propose in this paper is that human nature can never be truly dual; all parts of a human’s soul are intrinsically tied to each other, and attempts to split them result in psychological catastrophe.

Disciplines

English Language and Literature | Rhetoric and Composition

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