Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Science in Gothic Literature: Darwin and Freud in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and "The Stolen Bacillus" College

The representation of science is a trope often used in Gothic Literature. In this essay, I will compare how two Gothic texts, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson and “The Stolen Bacillus” by H. G. Wells, represent science in terms of duplicitous personalities. I will examine how scientific thought on instinctual emotional responses and the idea of duality corresponds to the portrayal of science in Gothic Literature.

Charles Darwin (522) establishes a connection between how human beings and animals display emotions, suggesting “primitive” (523) responses emerge in human beings under certain emotional situations, such as the appearance of anger. Though many Gothic texts deal with Darwin’s observations, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is possibly the most significant of these texts. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are two different sides of the same character. They are seemingly opposite in every way including personality and appearance. Dr. Jekyll is portrayed as a moralistic man, while Mr. Hyde is described as an animalistic version of a human, “like some damned Juggernaut” (Stevenson 9). However, it becomes clear throughout the course of the text that Mr. Hyde is really just a repressed version of...

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