The Duality of Human Nature: Men’s Roles
What truly defines a man? What roles should men hold in society? According to Victorian society, men should be respectful, successful and well known, which often restricted men from enjoying the pleasures of life and revealing their true self. Both Victorian writers, Robert Stevenson and Oscar Wilde, depict the roles of men in their works, while making a critique about the roles that are set by men in society. In the narrative, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Stevenson and the play The Importance of Being Earnest by Wilde, they explore the importance of duality as a matter of satiric exposition of what’s wrong in Victorian society. Both writers aim at illustrating how the roles that men are expected to perform daily may lead them to create a dual identity in order to escape their restrictive life’s. Stevenson aims at depicting duality through the human nature of good versus evil that’s presented through the characters of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In contrast, Wilde depicts duality by means of what defines earnest and transforming the word into a name, which becomes Jack’s second identity.In the narrative, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Stevenson makes a critique about how the expectation of men’s role by society restricts and limits men to identify their self. For instance, Dr. Jeyll creates two separate identities in order to enjoy the pleasures of life. Dr. Jekyll represents a respectable, successful, noble man in society, especially through his career as a doctor that describes the ideal Victorian men, while, his second identity as Mr. Hyde is savage, dwarfish and deform, which is labeled out of the norm in society. Dr. Jekyll illustrates a re…
… to have a dual identity in Victorian society. Through Dr. Jekyll stevenson shows how a dual identity can become the tragedy of a person’s life, while Wilde shows that it is not as opposite or far fetch from one’s true identity. Perhaps, human nature is made up of two sides and restriction in one’s life may trigger one to create a second identity, whether it is to escape the responsabilities of one’s life or even to walk into the dark side and go as far as commiting a crime that will take over on’es true identity forever.
Stevenson, Robert. “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. New York: New York, 2006.2169. Print.
Wilde, Oscar. “The Importance of Being Earnest.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. New York: New York, 2006.2222. Print.