Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

My biggest regret about this book is knowing the main points of the story ahead of time. I would have really loved to read it without knowing the ending. The plot is timeless and Stevenson is a master storyteller. I was surprised that the story is actually told mostly from the point of view of one of Jeckyll's friends. Only the end is written from Jeckyll's point of view.

The story is a classic tale of good and evil and inner struggle. The most fascinating part was that when Jeckyll transforms into Hyde he is 100% evil but when he is himself he still has a balance of good and evil that he must continue to struggle with. He is never 100% good. The separation is complete one way, but not the other. Jeckyll's evil alter ego (Hyde) is shorter in stature and appears deformed. Jekyll surmises that this is because he has spent much more of his life trying to rise above his inner demons and perfect his good character. The longer Jeckyll allows his alter ego to run amok, the more Mr. Hyde grows physically and morally within the doctor's character. Eventually Jeckyll begins to transform without the aide of his potion and he loses control of his inner demon. A fascinating commentary on the supposed "freedom" offered by the darker things in life.

This was a great short read. I kind of can't believe I never thought to read it before seeing it reviewed on my friend Cari's blog. I really enjoyed it.


Blogful said...

So glad you liked it! Some day when you live in FL and we are neighbors you can come to our book club and we can take our red heads on walks together and discuss literature.

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