Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Collective Mr. Hyde

With his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson presents encounters between several upstanding members of Victorian society and Mr. Hyde, a man who seems to disregard all social conventions in favor of selfishness and barbarity. To be sure, Hyde's actions merit disapproval, but Jekyll's friends feel a severe physical aversion to Hyde at first glance, even before its intellectual equivalent can arise. Intriguingly, none of these menGabriel Utterson, Richard Enfield, and Hastie Lanyoncan pinpoint exactly what aspect of Hyde is so unpalatable. Enfield says, "I never saw a man I so disliked, and yet I scarce know why . . . he gives a strong feeling of deformity, although I couldn't specify the point" (Stevenson 8), while Lanyon elaborates, "there was something abnormal and misbegotten in the very essence of the creature that now faced mesomething seizing, surprising, and revolting" (Stevenson 73). If he has no visible malformations, no disfiguring scars or deformities, why do three well-respected men react with such vehement disgust at the sight of Mr. Hyde?

In his essay "The Uncanny," famed psycho-analyst Sigmund Freud seeks to answer a more generic form of this question: what...

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