The short story of the evil Mr. Hyde and his counterpart Dr. Jekyl fascinates readers since it was first published more than a hundred years ago.
The Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), who is mostly known for his novel "Treasure Island", wrote the short story, "The strange case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde" in 1884. From this time on it fascinated readers all over the world. It is still on play in theaters these days, and several movies have been made from this story. The lawyer Mr. Utterson gets a mysterious letter from his friend Dr. Jekyll. It is the last will of the doctor, and it states, that in the case of Dr. Jekyll' s disappearence, all his money and belongings should be handed to Mr. Hyde. This man seems to be the antipode of the doctor, not only in his looks but also in his behaviour. "I never saw a man I so disliked." Mr. Utterson begins to investigate in this case, and late he finds out the whole truth about Mr. Hyde. "...for God' s sake, have mercy." The story is written like a logical crime investigation or a scientific thesis. It develops step by step, until the end. In the movie adaptations the cruel side of Mr. Hyde has been made very clear, but in the book the evilness of the figure is often just indicated. The reader has to fill the missing parts with his own imagination. "At the horror of these sights and sounds, the maid fainted." So the story isn' t as frightful, as it should be. It might be owed to the shortness of the story. But what makes the story so popular, is the topic it deals with. Living in society means, you have to obey the rules, that have been made. Otherwise you will be punished for any committed offence. So you need to show your good manners all the time. But what if you could do whatever you want, without the fear of being caught? Or just slip into someone elses shoes, and be another man? "The man is not truly one, but truly two." And this is just only one aspect Stevenson deals with in his story. There are a more things that can be interpreted, and so "The strange case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde", will fascinate readers for another one hundred years.
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