DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Intro

 

Intro to fields/Lombroso

 

Myers

 

Nicholson

 

Stevenson’s Hyde/Contradict Lombroso

Refute Myers

Refute Nicholson

Sigmund Freud summary

Connects to Dr. Jekyll/Hyde

Id/Hyde explanation further

Bring back to theories + example of why hyde isn’t evil and is natural like the id

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Rachel Pearson

Theodora Goss

WR100

October 17, 2011

Rough Draft (still no conclusion/underdeveloped intro)

            The behavior shown by Hyde as well as the appearance of regulation imposed by Jekyll in Hyde’s form mimics the relationship between the id and the ego. Conclusion that Hyde’s monstrous acts are the result of suppression under Victorian society rather than an innate, evil nature can be achieved through the parallel drawn between Sigmund Frued’s theory of the structure of the mind.

Criminology, psychology, and religion in the Victorian era emphasize that duality in humankind consists of adjacent good and bad halves of personality. Lombroso’s theory of the criminal man exemplifies the first argument. The Italian doctor claims that there are anatomical differences between criminals and gentlemen. “Criminals are evolutionary throwbacks in our midst,” explains Stephen Gould on Lombardo’s theory, “These people are innately driven to act as a normal ape or savage would.”  In other words, for people with these anatomical traits, the path of the criminal is destiny (Gould).

 Frederic Myers’s theory of the Multiplex Personality institutes the field of psychology as a source of delineation of duality of man. Using a case subject known as Louis V., Myers notes that if one “[inhibits] his left brain…he becomes, as one might say, not only left-handed but sinister…inhibit his right brain, and the higher qualities of character remain” (135). Essentially, if an individual stifles the left side of the human brain the resulting effect will consist of a thoroughly evil personage, but apply the process to the right side and an angelic individual appears. In other words, Myer’s argues that each half of the brain devotes itself to either benevolence or sin; a concept widely accepted as scientific fact in the Victorian era.

Through the scope of religion, Rev. Dr. Nicholson connects in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to the 7th chapter of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Nicholson interprets the supposed duality in Stevenson’s novel as a “moral sermon” and explains to his congregation “there was a higher nature within them and a lower nature; that by power of will they could, if they would, surrender their higher natures to their lower natures.” He then continues by stating that if this surrender to their sinful nature were frequent return to morality would become impossible (Nicholson, 103.) “If Christ was in their hearts, they would gain the victory and spiritualize even there on earth, that poor fallen nature, and triumph over sin, and over death, through Jesus Christ their Lord,” Nicholson concludes. Strictly speaking in regards to Nicholson’s argument, man must repress and denounce his “lower nature” in order to achieve eternal happiness in the hands of God.

As a gentleman, belief in these three Victorian fallacies is socially mandated. For the times these were a part of the highest echelons of Victorian thought. The most educated people of their time, all gentlemen knew at least the basics of these concepts. Being of the gentleman class and versed in the sciences, the reader can assume that Dr. Jekyll is familiar with these topics thereby suppressing his natural, human needs in accordance with Victorian society. Jekyll therefore underwent a tragedy of imbalance wherein the morals, imposed by Victorian society, overwhelmed the psyche. Struggling under the impossible standards placed on humanity, he enlists the help of science to physically extract the repressed human needs from his tormented mind whose physical form is that of Hyde. Exemplifying Hyde as the consequence of society restraint, author Robert Louis Stevenson attempts to expose the devastation and hypocrisy Victorian society creates in the gentleman. Simply the derision of Hyde from the gentleman Jekyll counters arguments such as Lombroso’s, which testify that criminal traits are not only phenotypic but also hereditary. The countenance of Jekyll does not resemble a criminal, and due to his ancestry he could not have inherited the “criminal gene.”

Stevenson refutes the Victorian belief explained by Myer that the so-called negative aspects of humanity are a completely separate part of the human brain when Jekyll notes that Hyde was “knit” to him “closer than a wife, closer than an eye” (Linehan, 204). The use of the term “eye” is a pun for the word “I” (Goss). In this particular sentence Jekyll concedes that Hyde is in fact a part of his character and not a distinct, malicious alter ego squatting in Jekyll’s mind until he springs forth into Hyde. Instead, Hyde is simply an aspect of Jekyll that is allowed free reign.

In the end of the novel Hyde cannot revert back into Jekyll. This seemingly supports Nicholson’s argument that frequent surrender to sinful nature would make the return to morality impossible (Nicholson, 103). However, upon closer examination it seems as though only the visage of Hyde remains distinct while the two characters merge into one being. Stevenson replaces the language of duality with that of “I” during the conclusion of the novel signifying the complete joining of Jekyll and Hyde. In this way, Stevenson comments that in the end all gentlemen embody both Jekyll and Hyde.

The relationships between Jekyll, Hyde, and Victorian society emulates concepts later explained by Sigmund Freud in his Theory of the Structure of the Mind.

 

Limited to only food or clothing cravings, the id of Jekyll bursts with suppressed desires when it manifests itself as Hyde. The character of Hyde can be described like a child due to his impulsivity, violence, and disregard for others, which is appropriate because the id within the human psyche develops upon infancy. With its lack of morality, it does have the aspects of an immature child.

 

 Unfortunately, the massive stifling of Hyde and the lack of control from Jekyll, or the ego, leads to a series of unfortunate events wherein the id’s self-centered behavior causes harm to others. In character, the id is an entirely selfish being focused on the desires of an individual. It is this selfishness that lends to the argument that Hyde cannot in essence be evil due to an absorbing focus on its own pleasures. Although the actions it underwent were extreme, the purpose of the ego is to monitor such actions and achieve balance. Due to restriction of Victorian society manifested in the superego, the ego is woefully underdeveloped to manage the selfish desires of the id.

Those who would apply Lombroso’s, Myers’s, or Nicholson’s theory to the case of Hyde forget that although the id is a biological element dealing with the mind, it is not evil. The id, known has Hyde, is not innately criminal and neither does it inherit behavior from ancestry; it is a purely biological aspect influenced by biological needs ranging from hunger to sex. By itself, there is no morality in id only an exclusively a need-based drive. During the first encounter with Hyde, the mysterious creature tramples a small girl. Initially to the reader, the circumstance seems as though a purely malicious, unwarranted act of a demon; however, closer examination of the text reveals that this is a simple circumstance of chance and not a gruesome act. The girl “was running as hard as she was able down a cross street” (9) and “the two ran into one another naturally enough at the corner” (9). The circumstance resembles that of car wreck in which recklessness is the culprit not malicious personage. Without Jekyll to enforce moral law, the id, a thoroughly selfish entity, continues in his path regardless of the child underneath his feet. Driven by the desire to return home, Jekyll’s id becomes a “juggernaut” of need. The incident with the girl was not due to an innate urge to commit criminal act driven by an evil urge. His purpose was not to harm the girl but to fulfill an unrelated need.

The Freudian theory of the structure of the mind divides the human psyche into three sections: The id, ego, and superego. A common image used as a metaphor for Freud’s theory is the iceberg. Roving beyond its place above the water is the ego, which is the part of the human psyche that is conscious and rational. Beneath the waters of consciousness, the remainder of the iceberg divides itself into the superego and id. Between the domain of the ego and id lies the superego or “the moral part of us” (Heffner) that lays the grid work for and reinforces rules. The freezing depth of the iceberg reserves itself for the id. Farthest from the shore of consciousness, the id embodies and individual’s desires: The most primal part of the mind. Ego, who floats betwixt all levels of the iceberg, attempts the dangerous balancing act of managing the id and superego. Too much reign lent to the id and the individual becomes self-centered and a victim to emotions and desires, yet if power lies within the superego the individual is begins an inhuman life bound with rigid moral confines. Sigmund Freud concludes that an individual can only achieve happiness if the psyche first achieves equilibrium between the id and superego.

 

 

 

 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Rachel Pearson

Theodora Goss

WR100

October 17, 2011

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Through the Lens of Frued

            Known for the promotion of strict morality, the period between 1837 and 1901 in England is synonymous with human restraint. The Victorian era, named due to Queen Victoria’s ascension to the throne, began with the elite in control of society and its politics (Bayley). Concerned with maintaining power over their society, these original 300 families focused on the social separation between the upper and lower classes; the leading idea behind this became the cultivated upper class and the bestial lower class. Concepts opposite of the primordial lower class were idealized, such as higher education and restriction of sexual, emotional, and social behaviors. This thrust the Victorian era into a period of human hypocrisy and emotional suppression: A cultural idea that bled into the fields of science and religion. Robert Stevenson emulates the ideals within Victorian Society in his novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Using Dr. Jekyll as a model of a typical Victorian gentleman, Stevenson demonstrates the strain of this suppressive culture on human nature. Coincidentally, the struggle between Dr. Jekyll, his human instincts, or Mr. Hyde, and the pressures of Victorian society parallels that of Freud’s Theory of the Mind. By comparing the conflicts of Dr. Jekyll and Freud’s theory, the underlying message regarding the tax imposed by Victorian society on the human soul in Robert Stevenson’s novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, can be further analyzed and explained.

In order to understand the prominent ideas of thought that influenced the character of Dr. Jekyll, the reader must reach an understanding of the foremost theories in science and religion during the time period.  Lombroso, Myers, and Nicholson, primary authorities in these fields, emphasize that duality in humankind consists of adjacent good and bad halves of personality. Lombroso’s theory of the criminal man exemplifies the first argument. The Italian doctor claims that there are anatomical differences between criminals and gentlemen. “Criminals are evolutionary throwbacks in our midst,” explains Stephen Gould on Lombardo’s theory, “These people are innately driven to act as a normal ape or savage would.”  In other words, for people with these anatomical traits, the path of the criminal is destiny (Gould).

 Frederic Myers’s theory of the Multiplex Personality institutes the field of psychology as a source of delineation of duality of man. Using a case subject known as Louis V., Myers notes that if one “[inhibits] his left brain…he becomes, as one might say, not only left-handed but sinister…inhibit his right brain, and the higher qualities of character remain” (135). Essentially, if an individual stifles the left side of the human brain the resulting effect will consist of a thoroughly evil personage, but apply the process to the right side and an angelic individual appears. In other words, Myer’s argues that each half of the brain devotes itself to either benevolence or sin; a concept widely accepted as scientific fact in the Victorian era.

Through the scope of religion, Rev. Dr. Nicholson connects in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to the 7th chapter of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Nicholson interprets the supposed duality in Stevenson’s novel as a “moral sermon” and explains to his congregation “there was a higher nature within them and a lower nature; that by power of will they could, if they would, surrender their higher natures to their lower natures.” He then continues by stating that if this surrender to their sinful nature were frequent return to morality would become impossible (Nicholson 103). “If Christ was in their hearts, they would gain the victory and spiritualize even there on earth, that poor fallen nature, and triumph over sin, and over death, through Jesus Christ their Lord,” Nicholson concludes. Strictly speaking in regards to Nicholson’s argument, man must repress and denounce his “lower nature” in order to achieve eternal happiness in the hands of God.

Victorian culture socially mandated the knowledge and understanding of these aforementioned beliefs the elite class. Therefore, the reader can assume that Dr. Jekyll is familiar with these topics, which consequently suppress his natural, human needs in accordance with Victorian society. As a result, Jekyll undergoes a tragedy of imbalance wherein the morals, imposed by Victorian society, overwhelmed the psyche. Struggling under the impossible standards placed on humanity, he enlists the help of science to physically extract the repressed human needs from his tormented mind whose physical form is that of Hyde. Exemplifying Hyde as the consequence of society restraint, Robert Louis Stevenson attempts to expose the devastation and hypocrisy Victorian society creates in the gentleman. Simply the derision of Hyde from the gentleman Jekyll counters arguments such as Lombroso’s, which testify that criminal traits are not only phenotypic but also hereditary. The countenance of Jekyll does not resemble a criminal, and due to his ancestry, he could not have inherited the “criminal gene.”

Stevenson refutes the Victorian belief explained by Myer that the so-called negative aspects of humanity are a completely separate part of the human brain when Jekyll notes that Hyde was “knit” to him “closer than a wife, closer than an eye” (Linehan, 204). The use of the term “eye” is a pun for the word “I” (Goss). In this particular sentence Jekyll concedes that Hyde is in fact a part of his character and not a distinct, malicious alter ego squatting in Jekyll’s mind until he springs forth into Hyde. Instead, Hyde is simply an aspect of Jekyll that is allowed free reign.

In the end of the novel Hyde cannot revert back into Jekyll. This seemingly supports Nicholson’s argument that frequent surrender to sinful nature would make the return to morality impossible (Nicholson, 103). However, closer examination reveals that physically, Hyde is dominant; mentally, Jekyll and Hyde combine and form one entity. For example, during the conclusion Jekyll refrains from separating himself from Hyde in discussion. Instead of referring to Hyde or Hyde’s actions as a separate entity with the pronoun “he,” Jekyll replaces it with “I,” which signifies the joining of Jekyll and Hyde in one body. In this way, Stevenson comments that in the end, all Victorian gentlemen embody both Jekyll and Hyde.

The relationships between Jekyll, Hyde, and Victorian society emulates concepts later explained by Sigmund Freud in his Theory of the Structure of the Mind. The Freudian theory of the structure of the mind divides the human psyche into three sections: The id, ego, and superego. A common image used as a metaphor for Freud’s theory is the iceberg: Only part of the iceberg is visible, while the waves contain most of its massive expanse. Roving beyond its place above the water is the ego, which is the part of the human psyche that is conscious and rational. Beneath the waters of consciousness, the remainder of the iceberg divides itself into the superego and id. Between the domain of the ego and id lies the superego or “the moral part of us” (Heffner) that lays the grid work for and reinforces rules. The freezing depth of the iceberg reserves itself for the id. Farthest from the shore of consciousness, the id embodies and individual’s desires: The most primal part of the mind.

Ego, who floats betwixt all levels of the iceberg, attempts the dangerous balancing act of managing the id and superego. Too much reign lent to the id and the individual becomes self-centered and a victim to emotions and desires, yet if power lies within the superego the individual is begins an inhuman life bound with rigid moral confines. Sigmund Freud concludes that an individual can only achieve happiness if the psyche first achieves equilibrium between the id and superego. It is this idea of equilibrium, or rather the consequences of unbalance, that Stevenson reveals in his novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll is the conscious ego attempting to maintain balance between his id, or Hyde, and his superego, or the Victorian morality of his society. Unfortunately, due to influences such as those of Myers, Lombroso, and Nicholson, Jekyll’s superego formed by his society attacks the id and overwhelms the whole psyche with its influences. Attempting to release the id, Jekyll consumes a concoction that allows his id freedom. Thus, Hyde takes form.

 Limited to only food or clothing cravings, the id of Jekyll bursts with suppressed desires when it manifests itself as Hyde. The character of Hyde can be described like a child due to his impulsivity, violence, and disregard for others, which is appropriate because the id within the human psyche develops upon infancy. With its lack of morality, it does have the aspects of an immature child. Unfortunately, the massive stifling of Hyde and the lack of control from Jekyll, or the ego, leads to a series of unfortunate events wherein the id’s self-centered behavior causes harm to others. In character, the id is an entirely selfish being focused on the desires of an individual. It is this selfishness that lends to the argument that Hyde cannot in essence be evil due to an absorbing focus on its own pleasures. Although the actions it underwent were extreme, the purpose of the ego is to monitor such actions and achieve balance. Due to restriction of Victorian society manifested in the superego, the ego is woefully underdeveloped to manage the selfish desires of the id.

Those who would apply Lombroso’s, Myers’s, or Nicholson’s theory to the case of Hyde forget that although the id is a biological element dealing with the mind, it is not evil. The id, known has Hyde, is not innately criminal and neither does it inherit behavior from ancestry; it is a purely biological aspect influenced by biological needs ranging from hunger to sex. By itself, there is no morality in id only an exclusively a need-based drive. During the first encounter with Hyde, the mysterious creature tramples a small girl. Initially to the reader, the circumstance seems as though a purely malicious, unwarranted act of a demon; however, closer examination of the text reveals that this is a simple circumstance of chance and not a gruesome act. The girl “was running as hard as she was able down a cross street” (9) and “the two ran into one another naturally enough at the corner” (9). The circumstance resembles that of car wreck in which recklessness is the culprit not malicious personage. Without Jekyll to enforce moral law, the id, a thoroughly selfish entity, continues in his path regardless of the child underneath his feet. Driven by the desire to return home, Jekyll’s id becomes a “juggernaut” of need. The incident with the girl was not due to an innate urge to commit criminal act driven by an evil urge. His purpose was not to harm the girl but to fulfill an unrelated need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.