and Mr. Hyde The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll

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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?

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