The stories revolving around death, souls, and spirits are not so common and are majorly entitled to philosophers, scientists, and researchers. Most skeptics have nullified such and this has brought about isolation and a feeling of rejection from the scientists that have gone deep into the research on the issue of death and spirits. The Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the Phantom Coach examine this topic with much more revelations. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde dramatizes the relationship between modern science and supernatural beliefs. However, the whole story is marked with evils. This novel brings out several themes whose interplay results in more mystery. In as much as there are several instances of friendship, one question that one asks self is whether good can be separated from evil and which science to believe.
Good vs. Evil
The interplay between good and evil in this novel is quite mysterious by the fact that they occur within the same person. Dr. Jekyll is a respectable doctor and is regarded as a good man with many friends. He often wears a calm and collected posture and goes about his laboratory business with a lot of professionalism. Towards the end of the story, Mr. Hyde who is widely regarded as evil dares to go out in Dr. Jekyll’s name for fear of stoning by the angry mob.
On the other hand, Mr. Hyde is known for all evil reasons. The encounter with the Mysterious Door prompts Mr. Enfield to recall a nasty occurrence that left a young innocent girl dead courtesy of Mr. Hyde (Stevenson, 2013, p.9). After a threat of arrest by the relatives of the victim, he pleads guilty but commits to pay off with a huge chunk of money, a check drawn from the house within a span of a few minutes, bearing Dr. Jekyll’s name.
Even though Mr. Enfield fails to understand the mysterious moment, they are made to believe that the check is valid. At that point, he begins to sense that everything is not alright and at least suggests that Mr. Hyde is in the business of manipulating Dr. Jekyll. That aside, the moment of incarnation relates to the tale in the Phantom Coach where James becomes the victim, with a further explanation from his wife.
In as much as an individual might possess both desirable and undesirable qualities, it leaves no room for evil and good to have a bond of fellowship. The two must be separated like water and paraffin. The same person that does well and widely gains respect must continue in his good deeds, and once evil deeds overtake the desirable good, there is no point in speaking of the good anymore.
In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, there exist a dichotomy between science and magical works. Dr. Jekyll uses science as a cover for his supernatural actions. It leaves one pondering whether science in itself possesses some touch of magic as opposed to the principles that govern scientific findings. For this reason, Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Layon hold different opinions.
While Dr. Layon holds to the traditional scientific principles of laws and methods, Dr. Jekyll of modern sciences adds a portion of a chemical from his laboratory that does the incarnation job. At one point, his longing for the other personality leads to public transformation, an act that leaves Dr. Layon quite traumatized. He thus becomes sick, and frail and finally succumbs while on his bed. On the other hand, Dr. Jekyll often experiences loneliness and rejection, especially when he wears the undesired personality of the wicked Mr. Hyde (Stevenson, 2013, p.15).
This becomes the same case of the isolated, well-educated scientist in the forest who narrates his story to James when he loses his way back home. With many books in his library to reflect his many years of wisdom, and a microscope to reflect how he regards himself, he keeps the door shut to keep of any strangers after rejection and isolation by the skeptics for more than twenty years. However, with James’ experience on his way back home, the old man’s narration of the existence of evil spirits that revolve around death is not so farfetched.
Repression and Violence
Dr, Jekyll lives majorly on repression. He assumes a normal life of no emotions, at least in the public sphere. He maintains that one is not supposed to feel happy, but to live a normal dignified life among his friends. However, this is where all his troubles begin, the more he represses his aggressions and appetites the more he grows with a longing to be Mr. Hyde. Consequently, Mr. Hyde grows stronger and more powerful and eventually subdues the good hypocritical Dr. Jekyll.
One question one asks is if he really finds pleasure in doing evil and what forbids Dr. Jekyll from giving up the good respectable doctor. It seems he prefers to sit on the fence so as to jump into the favorable side with his magical touch. Happiness is widely regarded as the ultimate goal of life, and therefore it would be sobering for Dr. Jekyll to give up all that attacks his happiness.
Lies, deceit, and friendship
It is difficult for any kind of friendship to solidly b founded upon the foundations of lies and deceit. Deceit and deception are at the center of the plot. Mr. Utterson who is a close friend and lawyer to Dr. Jekyll does not know the exact relationship between his master and Mr. Hyde; this throws a tantrum into the entire investigation.
Moreover, when Mr. Utterson finally accesses Dr. Jekyll’s documents, the fact that his estates are to be transferred under the ownership of Mr. Hyde brings more confusion. Mr. Jekyll finally succumbs to his trickery when he cannot find the original portion of the drug and unceremoniously gives way to the evil Mr. Hyde. This marks the end of the tale.
In the Phantom Coach, in as much as evils are not dominant, there is a skeptical view of sciences that disregards any research and findings on the topics of death, souls, and spirits. The experience that James goes through in the coach rubbishes all the speculations of the skeptics about the controversial topic. As narrated by the wife, James only concludes that the occurrences were a dream in a long sleep (Edwards, 1886, p. 8). However, he does not recall having broken his arms or the length of the blackout. It leaves one pondering if this was a real experience or just another fiction story.
In conclusion, the traditional and modern sciences sharply differ in the point of applying magic. This led to a long feud between Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Layon. When Dr. Layon experiences the public incarnation of his friend, he is traumatized to death.
Edwards, A., 1886. The Phantom Coach, London: Longmans, Green & Co.
Stevenson, R. L., 2013. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Planet Ebooks Publisher