Frankenstein Comparing with Dr.Jekyll and Mr.HydeGet Your
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Cindy Jecker Professor Kim ENG 200 12 April 13 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde/ Frankenstein From the comparison between the novel by Stevenson and the novel by Mary Shelley we noticed some important analogies. One of these regards the theme of the limits of Nature. Walton’s only aim in life is to travel towards the unknown; Frankenstein has the ambition of distinguishing himself in science and so he creates a living being by joining parts selected from corpses without respecting the rules of Nature. Dr Jekyll creates a potion able to release his evil side, Mr Hyde.
But at the end everyone is punished: Walton’s expedition fails; Frankenstein remains lonely, the monster kills his friend and his wife and at the end also Victor dies; Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are in perpetual struggle, but once Hyde is released from hiding, he achieves domination over the Jekyll aspects so the individual has only two choices, on the one hand the man may choose a life of crime and depravity, on the other hand the Jekyll aspect must eliminate Hyde in the only way left, by killing him. Another important theme is the double.
In Frankenstein, the three main characters are linked by that idea: in fact both Walton and Frankenstein have the same ambitions, the wish to go beyond the limits of Nature travelling towards the unknown, the wish for loneliness and pride of being different; the monster is Frankenstein’s negative side, they are complementary. They are both good but then they become obsessed with hate and revenge. One example of the double is the haunting presence of the monster: although at the beginning Frankenstein flees from his creature and their direct confrontations are few, the monster is always present in Victor’s life.
But Frankenstein’s rejection of his creature is crucial and this makes the monster an outcast, a murderer and a rebel against society. In the other novel, the theme of the double is more evident: it is the portrayal of “good” and “evil” and its main characters are the stereotypes of people who are “good” and “evil”. As Jekyll has lived a virtuous life, his face is handsome, his body more harmoniously proportioned than Hyde’s. Since Hyde is filled with hate and evil, he is pale and dwarfish, he gives the impression of deformity. Though the evil side of Jekyll’s nature is nitially less developed, Hyde gradually spoils his good twin: Hyde begins to grow in stature and the original balance of good and evil in Jekyll’s nature is threatened with being permanently overthrown. QUOTES: It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open. –Frankenstein My spirits were elevated by the enchanting appearance of nature; the past was blotted from my memory, the present was tranquil, and the future gilded by bright rays of hope and anticipations of joy. Frankenstein “I am alone and miserable; man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me. My companion must be of the same species and have the same defects. This being you must create. “-Frankenstein “With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to the truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two. -Jekyll and Mr. Hyde It was on the moral side, and in my own person, that I learned to recognise the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both; and from an early date . . . I had learned to dwell with pleasure, as a beloved daydream, on the thought of the separation of these elements. -Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Frankenstein Comparing with Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde
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I find Dr. Jekyll's use of science to have at least a bit more integrity than Victor Frankenstein's. Frankenstein dreams of being "blessed" by a race of men which he will have created and "hailed" as something of a hero by them. He puts science to use in order to achieve personal glory and fame, and because he acts without integrity, behaving selfishly and unethically, he ruins many more lives than just his own.
Dr. Jekyll, on the other hand, doesn't exploit science in order to achieve fame. In essence, he succumbs to Victorian societal pressure to conform to an incredibly repressive moral code. His intention is to better himself by making it easier for him to always do the right thing, as defined by his society. Despite the problems we might find with his rationale (if we take issue with his attempt to rid himself of a fundamental part of being human), his intentions, I would argue, are less self-serving than Frankenstein's. Jekyll is actually attempting to change himself in order to better fit the (unreasonable) demands of his society, and so his use of science smacks more clearly of integrity than does Frankenstein's. He shows that it is possible to put science to use in a more ethical way than Shelley's "hero."