I relate the Hyde/Jeckyll story to that of an active alcoholic. He drinks something and his whole personality changes for the worse. At first he can control it a bit, but later on, with or without the "elixer", Hyde takes over. For those who have had an alcohol problem and later recovered this story is very personal.
That's right. Jekyll's story is an allegory of addiction. I think it makes the story all the stronger that we never actually learn what his "undignified vices" are.
The inspiration, of course, was the Edinburgh politician Deacon Brodie, who led a real double life.
...and about whom Stevenson (in collaboration with W.E.Henley)had previously written a play.
Decent pub, though, or at least it was when Ann and I drank there during the 1990 Edinburgh Festival.
Calvinism is essentially a disease, like syphilis only more wasting and degenerative.
Quite a number of fanatical religions have that about them.
Indeed, though still one must admire the resistance Calvinism puts up to any attempt at treatment. I don't know that the US will ever recover, not in my lifetime.
Quite agree with you. Thought we had a chance for change in the 70s and nope, the Calvinists and the like were just taking a breath to jump back into the fray.
I think hope today lies in technology and demographics, if you could call that "hope". Communications technology is increasingly giving children an alternative to the culture of their immediate family and the God-bothering segment of the population appears to be shrinking. But such technology is a very, very mixed blessing, so the cure could be conceivably worse than the disease.
I love your words "God-bothering". How right on that is!
I wouldn't quarrel with that...
In my Masterworks of Brit Lit class I took last quarter, we talked about the nature of good and evil in people, mostly. I think the bottom line we came to was that no one is perfect, and trying to be is great folly, as Dr. Jekyll proves. You can't just pop some medicine and excise the parts of your personality or desires you don't like.
Exactly. Stevenson grew up in Presbyterian Scotland and saw how the pressure to be seen as utterly respectable and righteous turned people into hypocrites. As a young man he led a bit of double life himself- using an assumed name to explore the seamy side of Edinburgh life.
There's a real opportunity for a play there: Dr Stephenson &...