Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the commonly shortened title of the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a brilliantly novella by Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1886. It is available freely today online. This work is a superb portrayal of manliness, and one of the finest descriptions of the mortal struggle with evil and temptation found outside of the Bible.
Its length is 25,497 words, and its vocabulary is strong in using colorful and powerful terms. It challenges simple, traditional views of right and wrong. This book skillfully explains temptation and resistance to it, which plagues all through individual addictions including daily struggles against obesity.
|“|| “Well, sir,” he said, “here we are, and God grant there be nothing wrong.”
“Amen, Poole,” said the lawyer.
This novella contains three pointed references to Satan, and indeed the entire work can be characterized as being about him. This book also contains a famous statement about God: "but in the law of God, there is no statute of limitations." (Chapter 2, Search for Mr. Hyde)
"Edward Hyde, alone in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil."
"That child of Hell had nothing human; nothing lived in him but fear and hatred."
"Dr. Jekyll ... came out of his seclusion, renewed relations with his friends, became once more their familiar guest and entertainer; and whilst he had always been known for charities, he was now no less distinguished for religion."
"As for the moral turpitude that man unveiled to me, even with tears of penitence, I cannot, even in memory, dwell on it without a start of horror."
"It is one thing to mortify curiosity, another to conquer it ...."
"... all human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil."
"the terms of this debate are as old and commonplace as man; much the same inducements and alarms cast the die for any tempted and trembling sinner; and it fell out with me, as it falls with so vast a majority of my fellows, that I chose the better part and was found wanting in the strength to keep to it"
"and in my case, to be tempted, however slightly, was to fall"
"his brief condescension to my evil finally destroyed the balance of my soul"
Expressions popularized by the book
- bated breath - used by Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice, then fell into obscurity until the late 1800s, and a resurgence in use since 2000.
- driving rain - heavy rain driven by a strong wind
- STORY OF THE DOOR
- SEARCH FOR MR. HYDE
- DR. JEKYLL WAS QUITE AT EASE
- THE CAREW MURDER CASE
- INCIDENT OF THE LETTER
- INCIDENT OF DR. LANYON
- INCIDENT AT THE WINDOW
- THE LAST NIGHT
- DR. LANYON’S NARRATIVE
- HENRY JEKYLL’S FULL STATEMENT OF THE CASE
- "crushed phial in the hand and the strong smell of kernels"
- captives of Philippi
- Damon and Pythias
- pede claudo
- bodego - a small grocery store often family owned and usually in a city, or (esp. in Spain) a wineship
- red baize
- "diaphanous and lawny texture"
Distortions of the book
The supposedly Gothic characteristics of this work are exceedingly general and not uniquely Gothic:
- dirty street where Hyde lived in Soho
- persistent fog and mist
- a so-called “sinister block of building” where Hyde gains entrance to Dr. Jekykll's home
- Richard McDonough, "The Abuse of the Hypocrisy Charge in Politics,: Public Affairs Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 4 (Oct., 2009), pp. 287-307 (21 pages) - drawing an analogy between the charge of hypocrisy in politics and Jekyll and Hyde