|Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde
||[Feb. 27th, 2011|10:03 am]
Is Dr Jekyll a universal fable- or a fable about what Christianity- more especially Puritan Christianity- does to people? The introduction to the Oxford World Classics edition (by Emma Letley) goes on about how very very Scottish it is. Presbyterianism- with its fetish for public rectitude- makes it inevitable that people will lead double lives. Last night I read the book at a sitting. For all its familiarity It still packs quite a punch. |
Two things i had forgotten:
1. that Jekyll was never a "good" man but had always lived a divided life. What the potion does is to isolate- and intensify- the part of him that is enslaved by his "undignified" vices.
2. That Hyde- far from being the the hulking apeman of the movies, is a creepy, white-faced dwarf. There is certain pathos about him. Jekyll's clothes are far too big for him and he has to roll up the trouser legs and sleeves- for all the world like a child playing dress up.