The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Dorian Gray
The novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was written by Robert L. Stevenson and first published in 1886. The years from 1837 to 1901 are considered the Victorian Era, so the novel is considered a Victorian novel. Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is written in the same era as Dr Jekyll and is a Victorian Novel as well.
Having read the extracts of the novels and knowing what happens in the end, a comparison of the Victorian Era and the novels can easily be made.
One of the major themes of these novels is the double personality that Dr Jekyll suffers from. When Dr Jekyll takes his metamorphosis potion, he becomes Mr Hyde who is pure evil, which is clearly shown in the extract of the novel. Mr Hyde is very impolite towards his old fellow colleague Dr Lanyon even though he willingly agrees to help Dr Jekyll by giving the potion to Mr Hyde.Mr Hyde represents the evil side of the personality where Dr Jekyll corresponds to the good side.This split personality isn’t any extraordinary theme considering other novels of the Victorian Era.Oscar Wilde wrote The picture of Dorian Gray where double personality is one of the major themes too.The portrait of Dorian Gray represents his inner beauty. The longer Dorian Gray stays beautiful on the outside the worse his personality gets. That’s why the portrait becomes so ugly in the end that Dorian had to destroy it.
Another typical trait of the Victorian Era is the Biblical references. This is to be seen in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and in Dorian Gray as well. Dr Jekyll has a good side and an evil side which both try to eliminate one another. And it’s exactly the clash between doing what’s good and what’s evil that is a re…
…vations and many people were impressed by this.Oscar Wilde and Robert L. Stevenson didn’t necessarily agree with Darwin’s observations, but they must have been impressed by the theory of evolution and animals undergoing a transformation.Dorian Gray and especially Dr Jekyll experience a metamorphosis every time he drinks his potion.
So to sum it all up, both of the novels are very typical of the Victorian Era. They both had the same theme of double personality and their way of writing was very harsh and describing. They were both affected by Darwin and his studies since they brought doubt to God’s creation of mankind. But there’s nothing unusual in being affected by the contemporary literature or science. Even nowadays we’re affected by new studies and ways of writing. If we weren’t influenced by the modern studies, we wouldn’t have any progress in our society.