Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (from now on DJMH for short) was quite a relief to read. After somehow managing to power through Rousseau and Nietzsche, a classic tale like DJMH was relaxing and definitely did me some good. Yet obviously, like all good things, there was something that bothered me about DJMH. It’s the incredibly nosy Mr. Utterson. Now it’s not to be rude to Mr. Utterson, but Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’s personal life is not his business! Perhaps another thing that bothered me about this book is the large amount of secrecy throughout it. I wanted to constantly be able to hear every character’s thoughts. I was intrigued to see everyone’s motivations, especially Jekyll/Hyde’s in depth.
I like how Jekyll and Hyde both had their places, which slowly changed throughout the book. What I mean by places is how at the start, Hyde is constantly ramping through the streets, free of worry until he trampled a girl and beat a man. During all of this Jekyll was almost always reserved and in his room. But as the search for Hyde grows, it is he who becomes more reclusive, hidden from the streets, whereas Jekyll is now more active and outside free to roam the streets and correct whatever deeds Hyde committed in the past.
Other than a few very insignificant complaints, DJMH was very enjoyable. I really liked how Dr. Jekyll seemed like a bit of an unlikely tragic hero. His hamartia (tragic flaw) is his want to transform himself and free his good and evil sides, yet the dark side ends up taking over. This is a story where the hero is defeated, by himself… Maybe it’s supposed to say something about us as people, that somethimes we’re not always able to be the best person. Sometimes our darker side manages to take over, and in Jekyll’s/Hyde’s case it leads to the protagonist (and maybe even the antagonist’s) death.