Hyde as an Example of the Degenerate Man
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, an interesting story by Robert Louis Stevenson, a Scottish renowned writer, narrates an ordeal of a man, Dr. Jekyll, who finds a way of transforming himself into a mean person, Mr. Hyde, and use the personality of Mr. Hyde to commit a number or atrocities against other people. Transformation is a clear indication that the humans have an ugly side that is inhibited by societal norms, laws, and morals. That is why Dr. Jekyll in his final latter to his lawyer, Utterson, states the he enjoyed the few moments when he would act without the constraint of morals as Mr. Hyde. The transformation is an illustration of the forces acting within and individual and the fact that the force that is given greater opportunity to emanate always manifests itself. Hyde is an example of a degenerated man.
Hyde is frequently equated to apes and monkeys. This is a clear indication that he is not humane but a beast. Although no one reports any certainty that Mr. Hyde is deformed, they are all certain that he has a kind of deformity that makes him a dark, twisted man who instigates fear and disgust in people. The people also continually describe him as “timid yet bold.” One of the people who saw him, Enfield, notes that “There is something wrong with his appearance; something displeasing, something down-right detestable. I never saw a man I so disliked, and yet I scarce know why. He must be deformed somewhere; he gives a strong feeling of deformity, although I couldn’t specify the point” (Stevenson 15).
Mr. Hyde, as Dr. Jekyll’s alter ego, indulges undisclosed pleasure in which Dr. Jekyll would not indulge if he was himself with a sense of morality. This is an illustration that Mr. Hyde has no sense of morality. His most priced vice is violence. He enjoys beating up people brutally. His predilection to violence is unmatched. For instance, his violence is greater than that of gang members. This is because Mr. Hyde has no affiliation to any kind of gang and does not exhibit any kind of honor, principles, or respect which persons attached to a gang do. He is also not like a bully, since he is neither bigger nor stronger compared to the people he attacks and beats up. Moreover, he does not attack his victims in places where groups of people can witness it. Therefore, it can be acknowledged that he does not attack them to make himself popular. He beats up the victims because he enjoys it. It makes him feel superior, since he can do it and escape punishment. For instance, he brutally beats a senior politician to death. The witness reports that “Mr. Hyde broke out of all bounds and clubbed him to the earth … with apple-like fury [Trampled] his victim under foot and hailing down a storm of blows, under which the bones were audibly shattered and the body jumped upon the roadway” (Stevenson 31). This is a regression to the barbaric past of humanity.
Hyde is also a relapse of nature, since he is not a product of nature but a product of a scientifically created potion, which is not natural. It is a product of a scientific trial which was aimed at enhancing good qualities but found to be suppressing the good qualities while enhancing the negative ones. When Jekyll realizes that his new scientifically engineered personality is dangerous, he tries to suppress him with little success. He degenerates into Hyde. He repeatedly transforms into Hyde and has to use the portion to sustain himself. Unfortunately, there is no portion left, and the only solution is to take his life. Suicide is another aspect that indicates that he is a degenerated man with no morals.
In conclusion, Hyde is degenerated by virtue of his actions and appearance. His looks, which are frequently equated to those of apes and monkeys, show that he does not look like a real human. His desire violence and vices as well as the choice of suicide show that he does not share the moral values which humans hold with great esteem. Finally, he is not a naturally born human but a product of a scientific experiment.
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