Book talk: The Mr. Hyde in all of us

Book talk: The Mr. Hyde in all of us

Later this month, fun-loving residents of Grand Cayman will don Halloween costumes, some of which will include masks. Of course, many wear metaphorical masks all the time, hiding who they really are, including the not-so-nice parts of their personalities. 

Every person has a darkness inside that is kept tucked away, hidden for only a close few — if any — to see.

"The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," by Robert Louis Stevenson, first published in 1886, is a pinnacle of Victorian literature. The story told explores the duality of man and what truly happens when the darkness inside of us is set free. Most would be surprised to hear that this classic book is actually a novella, and can be read in just over an hour or less.

The phrase "Jekyll and Hyade" is used to this day in modern language to refer to people who outwardly present in a positive manner, but have an ultimate personality that is much different. 

Dr. Jekyll is not the protagonist of this story, rather a secondary character, overshadowed by the exploits and crimes of Mr. Edward Hyde.
Rather than watching the plot unfold from the eyes of Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde, the story is written from the perspective of Gabriel John Utterson, a lawyer and close friend to Jekyll.  Through this trustworthy narrator, readers are able to view the two characters as individuals, a point of view which highlights the variance in their nature.

In his aim to separate the evil part of himself, Dr. Jekyll is faced with the eventual reality that his evil cannot be separated and it eventually gains the ability to overpower him: “At that time my virtue slumbered; my evil, kept awake by ambition, was alert and swift to seize the occasion; and the thing that was projected was Edward Hyde.”

This introduces the question: Are humans really made up of two parts, good and evil? Moreover, if we are, are we not first evil, if the worst parts of ourselves can supersede our morality?

"The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" is the perfect, quick read for the Halloween season for the simple horrific reality that there could be a Mr. Hyde inside of all of us, waiting to be released on the world.


About the Author

Alanna Warwick-Smith is a Senior Marketing Communications Coordinator supporting the business development and real estate marketing team for Dart. Alanna has worked in Dart’s flagship development of Camana Bay for the past eight years, when she began her career working at the town’s bookstore, Books & Books. A lover of the written word, Alanna reads and writes poetry in her spare time, and has written content for a range of platforms in the past, including her own blog and Camana Bay Times.

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