Stevenson's idea is that every man has a dual personality. This separate self, unlike its master, has "appealing vitality, and terrible power of growth and increase.a notion as novel as it is terrific." (Lang) This story is "a marvelous explorarion into the recesses of human nature.its impressiveness as aparable is equal to its fascination as a work of art." (Noble) Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are symbols of the constant struggle between good and evil, within one person. Robert Louis Stevenson portrayed dramatically the torturous life of a schizophrenic, set in the very repressive Victorian era. This was a time when mental illness, if it was even recognized as illness, was kept hidden in basements or attics and denied. One person who is a pillar of the community and well respected can become mean spirited and even evil, then return to the kind person he was.
So Utterson takes on the role of seeker in the "game" of Hide and Seek trying to uncover the mystery of Mr. Hyde and his strange ways. Hyde is described as "murderous, husky, pale and dwarfish, deformed." (Stevenson) His seeking may have provoked the ending with the spirits.
Yet Jekyll is described as a "smooth-faced man of about 50 with a slovish cast" (Stevenson) Neither has control of his own life. Both are in torment.Schizophrenia is"characterized as withdrawal from reality with highly variable accompanying affective, behavioral and intellectual disturbance." (American Heritage Dictionary) Today this is .
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recognized as an illness which requires constant and lifelong medical treatment. In the time of Jekyll and Hyde it would have been considered morally corrupt to behave in a loud, rude or violent way. The idea of hidden mystery and confusion is symbolized regularly in this story by the London fog. One can only imagine the horror and confusion Jekyll experienced as he became aware of the dual personality inside him, and the struggle for control that was ongoing.