Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Theme Essay.
In Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the theme is that giving way to too much curiosity would lead to regret, and possibly even death. Doctor Henry Jekyll, the novel’s protagonist, is a curious scientist whose experimentation on the “thorough and primitive duality of man” gave rise to his dark and threatening alter-ego, Mr. Hyde. It all started with Jekyll’s interest in the possibility that man may have two personalities within him. This caused him to produce a formula which would separate the immoral aspects from the moral aspects of man.
By experimentation, he finds himself no longer as Doctor Jekyll, but as Mister Hyde, a persona he realized “to be more wicked, tenfold more wicked” than his original self. (72) Despite this knowledge, Jekyll does not inhibit Hyde- he allows this negative side to walk freely on the streets. It is not that Jekyll advocates randomly harming others, since he also tries to “undo the evil done by Hyde”.
However, he is swayed by the curiosity of being Hyde and in satisfying his pleasures, and does not stop until later. After harming a girl and killing a man named Cardew, Jekyll then tries to halt his transformations to Hyde. It is too late, though. In spite of his unwillingness to proceed as the ignoble Hyde, and his return to society and philanthropy, Jekyll is still caught up by the tempting nature of wreaking havoc and feeding his primal urges. Even if he determinedly avoids ignoble deeds or thoughts, he still turns into the despicable Hyde- with or without the use of his potion. Jekyll now fears the death of his better and original nature. He makes himself drink the cure as often as required to subdue Hyde- but his efforts are of no use. Doctor Jekyll is becoming more of Mister Hyde.
To save others and himself from the horrible nature of Mister Hyde, Jekyll locks himself up in his laboratory and continuously strives to find the cure to this curse he had wrought upon himself. He repeatedly tries to produce the mixture that has turned him into Hyde in the first place, but he fails. At the end, he becomes entirely consumed by Hyde; and Hyde is found dead on the floor of Jekyll’s laboratory by Mister Utterson and Poole, Jekyll’s servant. Through a letter he relayed to his friend, the lawyer named Utterson, his guilt and regret is revealed. Had he controlled his curiosity and subdued his willingness to fall into temptation, perhaps Doctor Jekyll may not have received his very untimely and tragic demise.