I was travelling to Italy, a quiet two-hour flight. What a better way to use my time, than reading a nice novella?
Ok, here it goes.
Two men walk along the street.
I know, it looks like the beginning of a bad joke, but stay with me for a second.
There is a weird, creepy house they pass by. The door appears old and hardly ever used. The windows – if there are any – are firmly shut.
They know that to be the back door of a highly respectable man’s house, though the only person anyone has ever seen entering that door is the most bleak and aberrant being, his face sculptured with horrifying features, as if it was the essence of evil itself.
As you can see, it’s not really the beginning of a bad joke, but rather the scenario of one of the most enthralling and dark stories ever written, the one about ‘The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ by the fantastic Robert Louis Stevenson.
Dr. Jekyll is a well-known gentlemen there in London. His reputation is flawless and he’s admired for the great commitment in helping and relieving people from their suffering.
Because of his high social stature, he has spent great part of his life repressing his most inner and bleak instincts, which would lead him to inappropriate and socially unacceptable actions.
That’s why, to mask this hidden side of himself and keep it quiet, Dr. Jekyll resolved himself on preparing a serum. And he succeeds, too. Only it doesn’t really work as expected.
That wicked side of him doesn’t get concealed, instead it takes advantage and transforms Dr. Jekyll in the aberrant, hardly human Mr. Hyde.
Then, everyone knows the story – even my 12-year-old flatmate, though he has some trouble remembering who R. L. Stevenson is.
It’s been in theatres, movies and any other sort of adaptation. Some of them good, some other a bit less good.
The message is always the same: as Dr. Jekyll is really two men, so every person is torn into two different personalities. The most you push down and repress the evil side, the most powerful it’ll be its takeover, as soon as you’ll let it breathe, even if only for once.
Eventually, it’ll be hard to go back to being the person you were before.
Dr. Jekyll could tell you this, it’ll not be nice.
If you want to know more about this book: Goodreads
If you want to buy this book: Amazon