Thursday, December 31, 2009

Jekyll and Hyde

I've been wanting to read this for a while, and its short length finally pushed me to pick it up to boost my numbers. LOVE IT. My husband Jon read it a while back and thought it was very interesting as well. Surprisingly, all the modern dramatic interpretations have taken some major liberties in making the story more exciting and shocking. The original book here is short and told from the point of view of Dr. Jekyll's lawyer (explains why Jon liked it so much), who uncovers the entire duplicitous plot with the help of a few wills. In fact, the entire split personality factor of this book leaves a lot to open interpretation (which is probably why adaptations of this are so varied). This book made me think of agency and the natural man. As human beings with bodies we are constantly at war between our spiritual sides and what our natural man desires. Jekyll and Hyde puts that battle into a fictional story. Dr. Jekyll desires to live his life in a way that's not acceptable or right, so he creates a drug that unleashes his evil side, Mr. Hyde. Mr. Hyde can now act as he pleases and when he goes away, normal and presentable Dr. Jekyll returns, until he wants to turn into Hyde again. Of course, eventually he loses control and Hyde takes over. Similarly, we can lose our agency, if we give in to our natural man's desire to sin. Very interesting read.

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