THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL and Mr. Hyde Discussion Point: Imagine being able to drink a beverage that would literally turn you into a different person—with different looks, a different personality, different strengths and weaknesses. What would be the advantages? Disadvantages? Would you try the beverage? Why/Why not? DOPPELGÄNGER Literal meaning: “double goer”-- a person’s ghostly counterpart; alter ego DOPPELGÄNGERS Clark Kent Superman Darth Vader Anikin Skywalker Peter Parker Victor Frankenstein Spiderman Creature …but two.” “Man is not merely one… DOPPELGÄNGERS Ja, but vhere did zis doppelgänger idea come from? Sigmund Freud The idea of everyone having an evil twin has existed since ancient folklore, but the term “doppelgänger” was first published in 1796. However, psychologist Sigmund Freud, who lived during the Victorian Age, developed theories of the human mind that may have influenced Stevenson’s work in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Freud’s Three Levels of Consciousness ID – The “seat of our impulses”; the ID is the unconscious source of our instinctual needs and drives. The ID is dominated by the pleasure principle. EGO – The EGO is the organized, conscious mediator between the internal person and the external identity. It “negotiates” with the ID and pleases the SUPEREGO. Our sense of self. Freud’s Three Levels of Consciousness SUPEREGO – The part of the self that is guided by moral, rules, and a sense of right and wrong; the conscience. The SUPEREGO “keeps us on the straight and narrow.” Freud’s Three Levels of Consciousness Freud’s theories can be seen in Stevenson’s novel, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Which level of consciousness do each of the following characters represent? Mr. Hyde ID Dr. Jekyll Mr. Utterson SUPER EGO EGO WHY WOULD DR. JEKYLL WISH TO CREATE A POTION TO SEPARATE THE PARTS OF HIMSELF INTO GOOD AND EVIL PERSONALITIES? What did Jekyll wish to be free from? RECALL THE EXTREME PROPRIETY AND STRICT MORALS OF THE VICTORIAN ERA. Pass me a drumstick, please. Egad I spy an ankle! ankle Notice the length of dresses, long sleeves, and high collars. PROBLEM: Jekyll loses control. He takes the potion more and more until the potion controls him. Thus Stevenson, while responding to societal constraints, also sends a warning about the dangers of indulging in temptation and the world of immoral choices. DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE IS A RESPONSE TO THE EXTREMES OF VICTORIAN SOCIETY Jekyll’s concoction allows him to separate his good side from his evil side—his indulgent, uninhibited side from his proper, strict and refined side. This allows him to live as he wishes in both parts of society. He could indulge in all temptations without constraint and then return to his “normal” living in the upper class. Does the message of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde still speak to today’s society? If so, how? If not, what would need to change about the story in order to better relate it to today’s society?