Alter Ego

07 Apr

It’s not on the list, but over Easter I read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and was somewhat surprised. I was reasonably familiar with the story, having seen various movie/tv versions, but they almost all add something to what is, in fact, a fairly basic, primarily allegorical story.

In some ways, it rather reminds me of Frankenstein in terms of both scientist-messing-with-stuff-man-should-not-wot-of plot, and told-through-letters style. What did surprise me, though, was the way Hyde is portrayed.

For starters, some people’s view has been somewhat influenced by a certain comic character with a side-line in film criticism*. I knew this portrayal was wrong, but I wasn’t aware/had forgotten that Hyde was always known to be Jekyll’s dark side – created for the express purpose of dissociating-self-from-own-flaws/misdeeds. This is probably another instance of the adaptation of what works as a book to what works as a film; they often present Hyde as seemingly nice at first (presumably to help sell the audience on why Jekyll wants to become Hyde – a younger, more virile man).

* Note that this is (generally) objective-expert-examination criticism, rather than rip-it-a-new-one criticism.

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Posted by on April 7, 2013 in Other


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