Review: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde | Man or Monster?

Review: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde | Man or Monster?The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Published by Signet Classics on September 2nd, 2003
Format: Paperback
Pages: 144
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In this harrowing tale of good and evil, the mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll develops a potion that unleashes his secret, inner persona—the loathsome, twisted Mr. Hyde.

This is nothing like its modern representations. The thing that makes Mr. Hyde menacing isn’t so much the fact that he’s completely evil. I know, that is probably one of the oddest things you’ve ever heard. Honestly though, the thing that make Mr. Hyde so awful is that he is a coward. The cowardness just makes the entire thing more unpredictable and therefore, in a way, more dangerous.

Going into this, I was surprised to find that only ten or so pages of it are actually narrated by Dr. Jekyll himself. The rest is narrated by his lawyer and another scientist. I do feel like this story had a lot more potential but I’ve come to accept that classics of this nature often don’t reach their full potential for whatever reason that might be, most likely just because of the style used by quite a few authors at the time.

Sometimes characters’ reactions are over the top and don’t fit the situation, but the mix of curiosity and horror from each character, even by Dr. Jekyll himself, perfectly matched and fit this story. Dr. Jekyll truly did some to loathe himself. It’s actually a terrible tragedy. His friends tried to help him but he refused their help. He holed himself up in his office and, by doing so, sealed his own fate. If anything can be said of this novel, it’s that it shows us how we can be our own worst enemies.

I wasn’t blown away by this but I am glad I read it, mostly because I wanted to know the original tale, especially after reading Her Dark Curiosity. That being said, each story does add something to the other and what could be better than that?


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  1. The Strange Case of Mr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde definitely was not what I was expecting from the way it's been portrayed in mass media. I'd thought it would be lean more towards horror. And it's interesting what you have to say about Hyde, how he's more a coward than a purely evil character. I'd never though of it that way, but I do see your point.