Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a quirky story and a fun read. It muses on the interplay of good and evil and split personalities. This book, set in a mysterious, 19th-century London with foggy streets and dark houses, tells a disturbing story – disturbing in a good way.
If you are among the few people who don’t know what this story is about stop reading this review now and GO GET IT! I imagine it’s amazing to read it without knowing the plot. Unfortunately, I already knew what the connection was between Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde which took away some of the reading pleasure (or rather the puzzle pleasure), but the mystery and the plot twist still made a huge impact on me!
We follow the story of Dr Henry Jekyll through Mr Utterson, who is as unknowing as the reader is supposed to be. Utterson finds out that Dr Jekyll is researching good and evil, which exists in every human being. Dr Jekyll asks himself whether these two opposites can be split from each other and he succeeds: he can now transform both into Dr Henry Jekyll and into his evil side, Mr Hyde. However, his evil nature takes over more and more and Dr Jekyll needs to figure out how to stop him.
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a spooky and thrilling read. Even though I already knew the plot twist, the way that this story unravels through the eyes of Mr Utterson engages the reader until the end. I was not wondering what was going on – I already knew that – but I was intrigued and wanted to see how Mr Utterson would react.
This novella also raises a lot of questions about humanity. Do we all have a ‘Mr Hyde’ in us (or a Mrs Hyde)? As Henry Jekyll says:
“All human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone, in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil.”
But what is our true nature: are we like Dr Jekyll who is a more or less proper gentleman? But isn’t he only well-mannered because he’s constricted to social norms and laws? Are we then similar to the terrifying Mr Hyde, who only thinks about himself?
This mystical novella gives us something to ponder over!