Hyde and Seek

by Shihang

(It’s not my joke. It’s Stevenson’s joke. It’s in the book.)

I am in a pious mood today. I have just finished Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (not as catchy as just Jekyll and Hyde, but I think the Dr. and Mr. are quite deliciously placed here) and it’s quite interesting throughout. The basic premise is a little like The Picture of Dorian Gray, in that the evil in their souls manifests externally. Who knew Hyde started out as a small, deformed thing, resembling a troglodyte rather than a Hulk-menace?

The interesting thing about Jekyll and Hyde, besides the duality of man (divisible into good and bad) thing is how Edward Hyde was seen as a morally unconcerned creature, an escape into immoral lawlessness. I wonder why Stevenson framed it as escape. Perhaps he meant it to be read as a morality tale about the danger of succumbing to moral licentiousness. But just as possibly, it is a comment that being good is not satisfying. Jekyll, who is good, law-abiding and loves the adulation of his friends, often wants to be Hyde. He finds Hyde’s ability to do anything without personal penalty amusing. I don’t know whether this is a particularly modern opinion.

Anyway, a thought about the gold standard next time.

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