Transgressive Personalities in Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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  Reading Texts II Transgressive Personalities in The Strange Case of Dr  Jekyll and Mr Hyde  1EN200  Transgressive Personalities in Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde   In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Stevenson uses the theme of transgression to exlore ho! s"ienti#" studies and seudos"ien"e "ould attemt to exlain the "ause of "riminalit$ and deviant ersonalities% Stevenson uses thedes"rition of &r '$de’s (deformed) *Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %10- #gure to examine "riminal anthroolog$+ !here the bod$ dire"tl$ "orrelates to "riminal nature% .$ ma/ing this lin/ Stevenson ortra$s transgressive ersonalities as being an innate defe"t ho!ever the dualit$ of r% e/$ll and &r% '$de "ontradi"ts this theor$ as both good and evil are "ontained !ithin a single bod$+ therefore Stevenson ma$ be suggesting evil is inherent in all% I !ill be anal$sing ho! Stevenson readdresses the reresentation of transgressive identities and ho! he roblemati3es the distinguishing fa"tors of good and evil through dualit$%.oth r% e/$ll and &r% '$de initiall$ aear as binar$ ersonas ho!ever uon dis"overing their dualit$ it is "lear Stevenson is examining ho! ea"h being "ontains oosing moral for"es% .$ having the identities of both r% e/$ll and &r%'$de "oexist !ithin a single human bod$ Stevenson exlores the dualit$ of "ivilisation and savager$ !ithin human nature% The "reation of &r% '$de’s allo!s r% e/$ll to sho! his reressed side to indulge in unrestrained (abominable) *Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %20- leasures su"h as the sadisti" tramling of a $oung girl and the violent murder of Sir anvers 4are!% In Henry Jekyll’s Full Statement of the Case  Stevenson exlores ho! there is a (rimitive dualit$ of .$ Elinor .o!ers Page 1 Student I5 1,0002,67  Reading Texts II Transgressive Personalities in The Strange Case of Dr  Jekyll and Mr Hyde  1EN200man8of the t!o natures that "ontended in the #eld of m$ "ons"iousness) *Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %9:- and r% e/$ll believes that to satisf$ both natures the$ must be (housed in searate identities) *%9:- and onl$ then "an life be (relieved of all that !as unbearable) *%9:-% 'o!ever b$ r% e/$ll’s naming of his "ounterart Ed!ard '$de and referring to himself as onl$ !earing (the semblan"e of Ed!ard '$de) *Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %9;- r%  e/$ll seems to distan"e himself from the evil alter ego that resides !ithin himself+ therefore he is den$ing resonsibilities for &r% '$de’s deraved a"ts+ as he states (I !as '$de+ after all+ and '$de alone+ that !as guilt$) *Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %:0-% r% e/$ll’s exli"it "ondemnation of &r% '$de aears in Henry Jekyll’s Full Statement of the Case  almost as a statement to rove his diminished resonsibilit$ for the "riminal a"tivities% The disse"tion of dualit$ erhas ortra$s the anthroologi" divide of modern and rimitive man/ind% &r% '$de "an easil$ be seen as a hrenologi" deviant as he is des"ribed as being a (troglod$te)*Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %1:-+ (d!ar#sh) *%1:- and (hardl$ human) *%1:- in aearan"e and has deviant a"tions that dire"tl$ "orrelate from this animalisti" aearan"e% 'is degenerate aearan"e "ontrasts!ith r% e/$ll’s (handsome fa"e) *Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %1<- to suggest that &r% '$de is lo!er on the evolutionar$ s"ale% =dditionall$ &r% '$de’s lo!er stature ma/es him aear to be the simian version of (his more uright t!in) *Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %9:- r% e/$ll% ue to &r% '$de’s aearan"e he is a t$i"al atavisti" "riminal !hose (abnormalit$ "onsists in a la"/ of moral sense+ reresents !hat is /no!n to alienists as a morall$ insane being) *Lombroso>?errero+ @% 1<11% %1,0>,1-% The reelling form of &r% '$de erhas embodies ugliness and deformit$ to "onform to "riminal anthroolog$ features or as a reresentation of our rimitive and amoral roots that !e !ish to .$ Elinor .o!ers Page 2 Student I5 1,0002,67  Reading Texts II Transgressive Personalities in The Strange Case of Dr  Jekyll and Mr Hyde  1EN200believe !e have sin"e develoed far from% 'o!ever b$ man being (not trul$ one+ but trul$ t!o) *Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %99-Stevenson is stating that !e are erhas not so mu"h more advan"ed than our "ave d!elling an"estors% Instead "ivilisation has for"ed man/ind to reress our savage and transgressive urges and al!a$s maintain a rese"table r% e/$ll t$e veneer% Even though r% e/$ll is the (more uright t!in) *Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %9:- &r% '$de is the side that is most dominant as r% e/$ll’s fear that (the nature of m$ balan"e might be overthro!n+ the o!er of voluntar$ "hange be forfeited+ and the "hara"ter of Ed!ard '$de be"ome irrevo"abl$ mine) *Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %:2- soon be"ome a realit$% The reasoning forthis dominan"e is due to &r% '$de ossessing (a more generous tide of blood) *Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %:2-+ b$ stating that the blood of rimitive &r%'$de is more generous Stevenson argues that (the unAust) *Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %9:- art of our beings is erhas the most o!erful%=lthough &r% '$de is demonised b$ referring to his aearan"e as (hellish to see) *Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %7- and (so ugl$ that it brought out the s!eat on me li/e running) *%7- he is also one of the most fas"inating "hara"ters as o"tor Lan$ton even goes as far to sa$ he !as dra!n b$ a (disgustful "uriosit$) *%91- to &r% '$de% The attra"tive hedonisti" freedom that &r% '$de embodies "an be seen as a reresentation for the 1< th  4entur$ English fas"ination and fear of the exoti" and often savage ortra$als of otherness% The regressive+ rimitive and hedonisti" '$de resembles un"ivilised man $et it is this la"/ of "ivilisation that seems to haunt and fas"inate o"tor Lan$ton% The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde  additionall$ refers to regressive and erverse sexualit$ as StevensonBs "hoi"e of !ording alludes to homosexualit$ and sexual devian"e% In Henry Jekyll’s Full Statement of the Case  r% e/$ll states he ("on"ealed m$ leasures) *Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %99-+ (laid .$ Elinor .o!ers Page , Student I5 1,0002,67  Reading Texts II Transgressive Personalities in The Strange Case of Dr  Jekyll and Mr Hyde  1EN200aside restraint and lunged in shame) *%99- and had (aetites !hi"h I had longse"retl$ indulged and had latel$ begun to amer) *%:,-% The undertone of sexual erversion seems to emulate from &r% '$de !ho hedonisti"all$ gives into unnamed leasures and aetites% Cne of these (undigni#ed) *Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %:0- leasures is sadism as &r% '$de enAo$s (tasting delight from ever$ blo!) *%:6- !hile he inDi"ts inAur$ uon 4are! be"ause he !as (lusting to inDi"t ain) *%:7-% raFt>Ebing de#ned sadisti" a"ts as having (the "hara"ter of imulsive deeds) *raFt>Ebing+ R+ G% 1;;:% %9<- and var$ing (in monstrousness !ith variation in the o!er of the erverse instin"t over the individual aHi"ted) *%:0- additionall$ raFt>Ebing ma/es a lin/ bet!een sadism and (hereditar$ degenera"$+ or moral insanit$) *%:1-% &r% '$de’s exerien"e of great leasure from the ain of others roblemati3es the amoral (troglod$te) *Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %1:- "hara"ter he is initiall$ des"ribed as be"ause his !i"/edness aears to trans"end amoralit$% Instead &r% '$de "an easil$ be seen to reresent ?reud’s id (one of the three divisions of the s$"he in s$"hoanal$ti" theor$ that is "omletel$ un"ons"ious and is the sour"e of s$"hi" energ$ derived from instin"tual needs and drives) *&erriam ebster Cnline% < th  une 2016-% &r% '$de’s sadisti" urges "ould lead the reader to believe he is the embodiment of the instant grati#"ation see/ing and instin"t driven id that indulges "arelessl$ in debau"heries% Stevenson uses the dualit$+ aearan"e and erversions of &r% '$de to dei"t the transgressive side of the human ersonalit$% .$ having r% e/$ll the reresentation of the "ivilised and &r% '$de the reresentation of the savage identi#ed as searate beings Stevenson is exloring the Da! of binaries% Neither r% e/$ll nor &r% '$de are realisti" reresentation of human moralit$+ therefore neither "an of these identities are "aable of surviving% 'o!ever it is the dominant identit$ of &r% '$de’s that aears to be the authenti" state of man+ .$ Elinor .o!ers Page 6 Student I5 1,0002,67  Reading Texts II Transgressive Personalities in The Strange Case of Dr  Jekyll and Mr Hyde  1EN200$et this "an onl$ be revealed !hen it is given the oortunit$ to be released from"ivilisation reression% The inner "onDi"t !ithin r% e/$ll additionall$ reresents Gi"torian England’s relationshi !ith seemingl$ transgressive "ultures as &r% '$de reresents a rimitive "ulture that does not "on"eal leasures due to a sense of (shame) *Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %99-% 'o!ever the rese"table identit$ of r% e/$ll is merel$ a veneer that "on"eals the (rimitive dualit$ of man *Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% 200,% %9:-% Cverall Stevenson uses identit$ in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde  as a !a$ of identif$ing ho! transgression is a "onstru"t that estern so"iet$ found ne"essar$ to use to de#ne itself from other "ultures% Bibliography raFt>Ebing+ R+ G% *1;;:- Psychoathia Se!ualis" eine #linisch$Forensische Studie. ?irst Edition% Stuttgart+ En/e%Lombroso>?errero+ @% *1<11-% Criminal Man %ccording to the Classi&cations of Cesare 'om(roso % ?irst Edition% Ne! Jor/+ The ni"/erbo"/er Press% Stevenson+ R%L%+ &ighall+ R% *200,-% The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) and *ther Tales of Terror. Revised Edition% London+ Penguin 4lassi"s% .$ Elinor .o!ers Page 9 Student I5 1,0002,67
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