How is the theme of duality explored in Jekyll & Hyde? GCSE Essay FeedbackWatch
The theme of duality is first explored through the portrayal of Hyde as a ‘murderous mixture of timidity and boldness’. The noun ‘mixture’ is a clear reference to the duality of Jekyll & Hyde. It also suggests that Hyde, being a ‘mixture’ is a product of science - frightening to victorian audiences as they would be unaware what he is capable of. The juxtaposing adjectives ‘timidty’ and ‘boldness’ are also the reference to duality, through their contrasting characteristics. The adjective ‘timidly’ represents Jekyll, in fear of Hyde taking over, and ‘boldness’ represents Hyde in his barbaric, public acts.
Stevenson later presents the theme of duality through his description that ‘the hate that divided them was now on both sides’. This is clear reference to their dual nature, and suggests they are each wanting to be rid of other - and gain power/control. However the fact the hate is described as on ‘both sides’ could mean that Hyde has fully take over, as he is the one presented as evil and full of hate in his actions. The imperative ‘now’ also reflects the urgency of a situation where Hyde is completely in control, being a product of science. This would terrify a Victorian audience, as many didn't believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution, so being a product of science, audiences would believe Hyde is capable of animalistic behaviour.
The writer also explores Duality where Jekyll exclaims ‘my devil has been caged, and came out roaring’. This reflects Jekyll’s idea that humanity has 2 sides, good and evil (‘my devil’). The noun ‘caged’ reflects victorian society, in many of them repressed their desires (evil side) to maintain their reputation. Furthermore the possessive pronoun ‘my’ shows Jekyll’s lack of control over his evil side. The fact his ‘devil’ came out ‘roaring’ may also foreshadow the dangers of duality, in that Hyde eventually took over.
The author also explores the theme of Duality through his description of Jekyll, in that ‘he grew pale to the very lips and there came a blackness about his eyes’. The verb ‘grew’ reflects growing power of Hyde and therefore loss of duality between them. Furthermore it may also reflect Jekyll’s growing fear that knowledge of this duality become public, a terrifying proposition for a Victorian gentleman where reputation was everything. The adjective ‘pale’ also reflects Hyde draining Jekyll of his former self, as Hyde grows in power. However could also be Stevenson suggesting that duality is unattainable, as ‘pale’ could foreshadow Jekyll’s death.
Therefore theme of duality is explored throughout Jekyll and Hyde, especially through descriptions of Hyde & Jekyll as Hyde’s power grows.