Hyde; written by author Robert Louis Stevenson; and, The Picture of Dorian Gray, written by Oscar Wilde, share the theme of contrast of human nature and personality. One of the aspects that both Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray have in common is the contrast of human nature. Just as Jekyll claims that “man is not truly one, but truly two”, Dorian proposes that “Each of us has Heaven and Hell in him”. In both stories the characters have a way of overlooking the evidence of their own mistakes.
Jekyll calms himself by thinking that “It was Hyde . . . and Hyde alone that was guilty” and by this he was trying to fix the wrongs that Hyde committed. Dorian on the other hand attempted to apologize to Sibyl by writing her a letter after which made him feel as if he was forgiven. Shortly after finishing the letter he learn about Sibyl’s death and overlooks the first changes that his painting goes through and blocks the guilt by thinking “What did it matter what happened to the colored image on the canvas?
He would be safe. That was everything” Dorian says these words to help him escape the obvious truth. The internal conflict of Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde also can be compared to Oscar Wilde’s The picture of Dorian Gray. Both Mr. Jekyll and Gray go through many experiences that lead them to live a double life. Jekyll is curious scientist who drinks a potion that makes him turn into a vulgar and tempered man. Jekyll likes the idea of becoming someone else, without anybody truly knowing who Mr. Hyde is.
Dorian Gray is a curious and young gentleman who also falls victim to his hope to stay young forever, without anybody really knowing what his true practice is. When we compare both Dorian Gray and Jekyll it is important to say that they both are seen as normal kind good man that both have a dark secret. As being Mr. Hyde, Jekyll feels like he has more freedom to do whatever he wants without being caught as his real self. Both Gray and Jekyll desire to live a life of freedom from discrimination and act towards any wish, but in the end it brings trouble to both because they are hurting people at the same time.
Another comparison of these characters is that throughout their experiences, they finally come to terms with their mistakes and the basis to the problem. They both ended their life in their own terms, by killing the monster that they had become. Gray killed himself by ultimately slaying his portrait that represented the horror and real person that he had become, while Jekyll poisoned himself. I believe in the end they did have sympathy for the horrible things that they had committed, and that is why they killed themselves. Killing themselves, relived them from what they had to live with for the rest of their lives.
I feel that the authors of the novels chose to describe the charters this way to have a certain impact of the audience. I believe the authors wanted to make the readers see both sides of the character through a different view point. Also I believe they also wrote it because the authors were describing the person they wish they could be. I believe both authors believe that human nature is always changing. I think that the artist are saying that during their time period known and the Victorian era the human nature of people were always changing .