Freedom and Lacking Responsibility in Dr. Jekyll Split Personality as Mr. Hyde

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1208 Words
Date:  2022-04-12


The split personality between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde shows the existence of duality in individual pitting freedom against responsibility. People desire to optimize enjoyment by exercising their freedom while ceding responsibility in the resulting burdens. However, freedom and responsibility exist in balance. Freedom comes with great responsibility. Jekyll actions reveal that enjoying freedom without fulfillment of responsibilities stimulate sadness and destruction. Firstly, Jekyll feels constrained by his apparent lack of freedom when committing his unintended vices. His character as Hyde demonstrates that responsibility is an essential part of human's freedom with destructions emerging from missing controls.

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Born in a reputable family, Jekyll had an excellent education to become a prominent popular scientist. He portrays a respectable and a responsible gentleman of the Victorian era. Then, people observed strict moral codes leaving negative emotions, intense anger and misconduct prohibited. However, the distinguished scientist has many youthful indiscretions which he claims to enjoy. He fears that discovery of his unintended vices would eventually ruin his career, so he repressed them. Jeckyl is fascinated with the theory that a man has both good and bad side. This prompts him to formulate a potion that transforms him into a hideous individual named Mr. Hyde. In the Victorian error, Hyde indicates the sexual aspect of life that an individual was not allowed to display. He represents an embodiment of pure evil. He demonstrates the evil man in Dr. Jekyll and would do anything in the name of freedom regardless of the responsibility or consequences. He hides from identity for fear of consequences. He loves being bad, in fact, at a certain time Jekyll notes that, " I felt lighter, happier... heady recklessness, a current of my fancy unknown but innocent freedom of the soul". A conflict between responsibility arrises as Jekyl tries to exercise his uncontrollable freedom through another being to cover the associated responsibility.

The first Hydes's encounter demonstrates the co-relationship between freedom and responsibility. It comes out during a Sunday stroll between Utterson and Enfield as they come upon a neglected house that seems outdated. Enfield remembers a scenario he witnessed an unlikely man crush into a girl. Enfield narrates, " Well sir, the two ran into each other naturally at the corner.....the horrible part.....the man trampled calmly over the child...left her screaming". To him, this is just an immoral act. Hyde tries to get away, but Enfield cornered the man and brought before an angry crowd who had vowed to ruin his good name if he fails to provide amendments. To avoid the scene, Hyde compensates the girl using a cheque worth one hundred pounds. Hyde loves doing evil, and his freedom is limited by such responsibilities as compensation to the hurt individuals. It demonstrates that freedom always balances with responsibilities.

Hyde brutally murders an innocent member of parliament identified as Sir Danvers Carew to prove his power and simply release the evil. The witness maid narrates how Mr. Hyde breaks into anger and beats Sir Danvers to death. Horrified Jekyll resolves to cease becoming Hyde. This time transformation had become involuntary to the extent that he transforms into Hyde while sitting at a park. Mr. Hyde is also responsible for the death of Lanyon, after the killing, the police launched his hunt, but he could not transform to the innocent Jekyll he fears to take responsibility hence writes a letter to request for his potions to become Jekyll. He drinks the potions in the presence of Lanyon which instigated his deterioration to death. When transformations become, involuntary Jekyll realizes that he would soon permanently change into Hyde and fears execution for his crimes hence decides to kill himself. The responsible man Jekyll is, Hyde gives him the ability to experience his inner desires, but he takes freedom too far and no longer cares for the responsibility towards his society. This proves that uncontrollable freedom is ultimately dangerous.

Victor's Lack of Responsibility for His Creation in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Victor Frankenstein lacks personal responsibility plunging him and his family into a serious tragedy. Firstly, Victor neglects the creature he created hence responsible for the malicious acts it commits. It compels him to regrets his creation and avoids it, thus appears to escape from reality. Particularly, he abandons all stewardship responsibilities and eventually leaves it in the house alone. After abandonment, the creature is left to feed for itself drawing it to confrontation and violence following series of mistreatment.The beast ultimately curses his creator that when it learns that the rescued child he loved is from Frankenstein's family, thus strangles the girl to death. The monster resents his creator's responsibility for its existence. It curses the human species and more so his creator. It exclaims, " Cursed, cursed creator!....why did I live ...did I not extinguish the spark of bestowed". Similarly, victor does not care for the creature when he says, " I beheld the wretch...the miserable monster whom I..." His decision to make the monster and do nothing to care shows his unwilling nature to take his responsibility for the consequences and outcome of his activities.

Victor fails to take responsibility for bringing destruction to his family and the town even after the murder of William and arrest of Justine. Here, he fails to take responsibility to reveal the truth about his creature role in killing William. On his return, upon his brothers demise while near Sacheron, he catches a glimpse of his creature between flashes of lightning. The monster vanishes upon victors realization. It dawns on him that the beast could be the murder, he asks "Could he be...the murderer?" Victor is convinced that the monster committed the murder and is torn between revealing the truth and taking responsibility for his past or letting Justine free from the justice system. However, victor shows some concern in trying to create a companion for the monster to prevent it from committing further crime. However, Victor's role in his failure to complete the female monster and destroying it replicates lack of personal responsibility in correcting his errors. Instead, Victor cites his fears to unleash another monster to the world. This act shows remorse for his actions partially. Again, Victor fails to protect Elizabeth from the monster and selfishly leaves her alone on the eve of their wedding. He assumes the monster will kill him. As victor mourns Elizabeth saying " from the tortures of my heart; I turned to contemplate on the.... my Elizabeth". Throughout the book, Victor confronts the consequences of his actions, although he admits his guilt, he fails to assume full responsibility to stop the deaths of his family members.


Freedom and responsibility exist in balance. It implies that individuals have the freedom to do what they want, but also assume responsibility for their actions. People should act in ways that create a better community for themselves and others. Uncontrollable freedom results in great damages to the entire society which is evident in Jekyll's creation of Hyde and Victor's monster. The trampling of the young girl, the death of Danvers, Lanyons, and Jekyll himself proves lack of responsibility to the society. Furthermore, victor's lack of accountability for his creature causes grieves to William, Elizabeth and himself as he loses close relatives.

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Freedom and Lacking Responsibility in Dr. Jekyll Split Personality as Mr. Hyde. (2022, Apr 12). Retrieved from

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