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  • Titill er á ensku The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Duality in Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and The Master of Ballantrae
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    This essay examines the theme of duality in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and The Master of Ballantrae. After a short introduction of Stevenson’s life, the essay explains the meaning of duality and how it is depicted in these two works. Dualism appears in many forms in these two stories as Stevenson describes the characters and their surroundings in opposite ways, either good or bad. Firstly, an analysis is made on the main character in Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dr Jekyll. Jekyll is constricted by Victorian society, which causes him to split into the two selves of Jekyll (good) and Hyde (bad). Additionally, the society forces Jekyll to suppress his secretive behaviour that will eventually go out of control. This compels him to live a double life and causes the destruction of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Secondly, the essay analyses the two brothers in The Master of Ballantrae, Henry and James Durie. The brothers are capable of doing good and bad deeds, which connects them and ultimately destroys them. The narrator of the story, Mackellar, describes the brothers as in constant battle with one another and takes the side of the younger brother, Henry. Furthermore, the older brother, James, embraces his darker self while Henry is forced to repress his desires. Towards the end of the story, the roles of the brothers are switched as Henry begins to show his bad self. In fact, neither of them backs down in destroying one another, until they are both dead. Finally, the essay concludes with a comparison of these two works of Stevenson as they both share the theme of duality. In Jekyll and Hyde we have the split between the two sides of the same individual, while in Ballantrae this is shown as a split between the two brothers. In addition, there is a contrast to be found in how the theme of good is depicted in the two stories as well as in the narrators’ way of revealing the aspects of good and evil.

  • 9.9.2016

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