Becky’s One Hundred and Fortieth Book Review: “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson

“The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson is a classic that has been told and retold numerous times. Even though I knew the story from a young age, I had never taken the time to pick up the book and read it for myself. When I did I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. “It was a night of little ease to his toiling mind, toiling in mere darkness and besieged by questions.” (Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, pg 13).

I really enjoyed the way that Robert Louis Stevenson manipulated language throughout his novel. Reading him was like sneaking bites of dark chocolate. Even though it was a story that I knew, turning each page was a delicious indulgence. “…the ghost of some old sin, the cancer of some concealed disgrace: punishment coming,” (Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, pg 17). Robert Louis Stevenson chose each word so carefully to paint such a dark and addictive picture.

I really enjoyed the way that Robert Louis Stevenson focused on the split personality aspects in the book, the book may be about a man who finds a way to let the monster inside of him come out on his own and be separate, but the true lesson of the book is, “…man is not truly one, but truly two. I say two, because the state of my own knowledge does not pass beyond that point. Others will follow, others will outstrip me on the same lines; and I hazard the guess that man will be ultimately known for a mere polity of multifarious, incongruous and independent denizens.” (Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, pg 78). The thing that sets Dr. Jekyll apart from other men is that he finds a way to let the monster out. There is no denying that Mr. Hyde is still ultimately a piece of Dr. Jekyll, one that grows stronger the more he shows his face. In a way, it makes him more self-aware than most. He embraces the monster.

Would I recommend The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? Yes, it was a very fun read and even though it would be hard to not know the tale, it was still surprising and interesting. 

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