Jekyll and Hyde, on being the same person and split personalities

Iconic and very well known, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of the best known books of english literature.  Having read the book before and studied it, I do have an idea of what it entails and re-reading it was a little boring since I knew what was going to happen, thus the suspense was gone. Moreover, Stevenson’s writing style bored me and I didn’t like how I saw the whole case only through Utterson’s eyes.  It was as if I was distanced, unable to see deeply into Hyde or Jekyll.

Now why do I think I was distanced from Hyde and Jekyll?  This partly came from a black and white movie interpretation of J and H, in which the Point of View was from Hyde and Jekyll, this allowed me to sympathize with the characters better.  Still, Jekyll’s final account as harrowing and drew some sympathy from me.  The poor discontented doctor who brought the monster out of himself… but this made me think of something rather disturbing, isn’t Hyde the same person as Jekyll?

Hyde never surfaced until Jekyll took the potion to bring out Hyde.  That is true.  However, Jekyll himself has admitted that Hyde is a part of his personality.  A separate personality, which is accompanied by a physical change, that is true, but don’t they inhabit the same body?  I mean… Jekyll, is as much to blame as is Hyde for the murders.  If he had not taken the potion, nothing would have happened.  He would have been discontented, but in my view, Jekyll is as much as to fault for as is Hyde.

But moving on, what I am most intrigued by is the evolution of the concept of a split personality.  Robert Louis Stevenson was probably the first to think of this novel concept and transform it into a horror story.  At that time, it was so horrifying, I believe it is said that Stevenson rewrote it because the publishers were so scared.  Nowadays, the concept of a split or hidden personality, has been made funny.  We see multiple funny split personalities on screen and we don’t find it scary, in fact we find it hilarious.  Various characters in Naruto, Harvey Two-Face from Batman, The Mask.  They’re bloody hilarious and if you think about it, many heroes have a sort of hidden personality.  Bruce Wayne and Batman, Clark Kent and Superman, they’re heroes that have two personalities, a fake and a real.  A little different from Jekyll and Hyde, but similar in that they show two faces to the public.

Yet, the concept of the split-personality can be still horrifying, The Hulk and Dr. Banner being one of the more dangerous and eerily similar ones to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  Such is the power of when a hidden face is revealed.




I found that understanding Nietzsche is as hard as spelling or pronouncing his name.  Professor Jill, thank you so much for that lecture because I understand him… or at least kind of.  Do I agree with Nietzsche though?  WELL given my religious beliefs are Christians and the fact that Nietzsche does criticize religion and takes a rather anti-god stance I say my personal feelings are quite negative for him.

What I do admire Nietzsche for is his diversity.  Unlike most essayists who are very linear in their approach and suggest that there is only one truth, Nietzsche’s idea of multiple truths is something I quite admire.  It sure is confusing, but I like how he at least is able to embrace the fact there are multiple truths and multiple ways of doing things and that morality changes in time.  Unlike Plato’s rather stagnant one truth, Nietzsche’s multiple truths that change seems much more flexible.

Slave and noble morality, this I have to say is something I do agree upon with Nietzsche.  His examples are extraordinarily convincing and the willingness of Nietzsche to look beyond what makes good, bad and evil.  His combination of history, literary analysis and philosophy blend together to create a very interesting and very convincing argument.  Revolting (as in slaves revolting) humans will call their masters, evil, an intensification of bad and invert the Nobles morality.  We see this in the Israelites, when they leave Egypt and we see it in the rise of Nazi Germany (jewish bankers were in power, flipped over by working class).

What I don’t like about Nietzsche… is his rather inherent dislike for a stagnant good.  As much as I find his argument convincing, I can’t keep thinking how appealing it is for the idea of a common good, a form of good acceptable to all humans… The problem being is that Nietzsche would call me silly and scared of knowing myself… Which might be the case because as a human, I’m quite aware that I can do great evil or great good… though Nietzsche would say this is depending on the morality of the current times.



Frankenstein the Monstrous God? his Monster and Society: The Distorted Mirror

I have to say, Frankenstein was quite depressing.  Over the years, I’ve watched many adaptations, read many different versions, but the original story, while extraneously wordy at times was very depressing.  I found myself sympathizing with the monster at times and feeling repulsive at Frankenstein for his selfish actions.  Yet at the same time, I don’t find the monster innocent.

Frankenstein the Monstrous God?  Well that’s what Frankenstein did.  He played God and created life.  And some would argue, that like ‘God’ he released his creation into society and did nothing to help him.  Moreover, as much as Frankenstein may deny it, he had a fundamental role in shaping the monster into what he is.  For Frankenstein refused to even help the monster, attempting to destroy it.  Although his reasons were valid in a sense, they were motivated primarily by revenge.  Which kind of brings up how he could be any type of impartial god because he has emotions and is heavily influenced by them, but did not Zeus or Poseidon have emotions?  Thus, in a sense, Frankenstein was God of his monster, influencing almost everything that he did because of the way he created him and how he dealt with him.

The Monster, as he is known… the question that probably is most hotly debated is whether it is his fault or society’s fault or Frankenstein’s fault.  Well… I believe a lot of the blame is can be portioned to Frankenstein, but I am very aware that the monster made his own decisions.  The monster was kind, intelligent and at times, very compassionate.  However, he is also very vengeful.  The rage that led him to murder Elizabeth, William, Clerval and frame the murder on an innocent woman… That type of reasoning and decision making I detest.  Could not the monster have stood up against society’s taunting of him and did he have to succumb to the curse Frankenstein placed on him?  He had a choice.  While the choice may have been extraordinarily difficult and the manner of pressure placed upon the monster great, did the monster not admit he was monstrous?  It’s not a hard line evidence because just because he thinks he himself is monstrous doesn’t mean he is, but I find that although the monster, may have been born innocent, he certainly succumbed to society, to his curse to prove himself truly a monster.

That being said, I also think that society played a vital role in creating Frankenstein and The Monster.  Society, is the mirror that created the two monsters  Society at Frankenstein’s time made him push the limits, advance beyond what was deemed morally acceptable leading to him regressing his morals and creating life.  The Monster, was scorned by society, which reflected him as a monster, so much that the monster, became one in action and in appearance.

Comments are appreciated, sincerely,


The Natural Man…

In A Discourse on Inequality, Rousseau does bring up some good points regarding the natural man and is able to point out some flaws in Rousseau’s argument.  However, some of Rousseau’s argument is based on a very romanticized version of Native American culture, leading me to find it difficult to agree with all of his points.

One of the things Rousseau does is that he refutes Hobbes argument.  He points out that Hobbes says that man is “naturally evil because he has no sense of goodness.”  Rousseau counters this point with the point “one could say that savages are not wicked precisely because they do not know what is to be good.”  This ties in back to our discussion on what makes a monster.  Some definitions in class have us discussing how society has no monsters, but defines monsters through a mixture of cultural values and socialization.  This perspective makes sense if we look at cultural relativism and ethnocentrism.  If we look at cannibals from our own western values, we’d say they are evil, but a cannibal would look at our values are evil.  Additionally, if we look at The Tempest it could be said Caliban only became a monster after he met Prospero and that from our society, Caliban’s urges are monstrous, but they were brought forth by Miranda.  So in a sense, Rousseau has a point here

However, there are also times Rousseau is wrong.  Downright wrong.  He makes some references to the Native Americans as noble savages, independent people without society.  But, contrary to belief at this time, Native Americans such as the Iroquois, the Souix and the Inuit, actually have very highly developed societies.  The Iroquois were actually very advanced and created a treaty that is thought to have been the forefather of the constitution used by the United States.  Additionally, one of the greatest aspects of Native American life, WAS it’s community, was how man and women depended upon each other and how their traditions (essentially laws) regulated their actions.  So if Rousseau argues laws create passions that prove detrimental to man, explain those societies, that were  working perfectly fine until the Europeans came over.  Who knows if they would have failed later on, but they were working fine.

I look forward to comments and the lecture.