The Two Jekylls


The Jekyll in the musical was very different from the one in the novella. There was a better-rounded portrayal of Jekyll in the musical. They told us why Jekyll, as a gentleman at that time, was tired of the social rules and created Hyde, by showing us how his will to save his father was rejected by the moral and religious restrictions. Because the theme of the novel was the process of finding out what was happening, while the theme of the musical was why and how the things happened.

Another difference between the two Jekylls was the ways they died. In the novella, Jekyll killed himself in the lab, while in the musical, he died on his wedding. I guess the wedding was added to show how ordinary Jekyll was. He was such a normal person who need a wife and need some love. During the wedding, Jekyll was taken over by Hyde, but he was finally waken up by his fiance’s gaze, which showed his deep love for her. The wedding make the tragedy of Jekyll more tragic. In the novella, Jekyll killed himself to save his reputation. However, in the musical, he killed himself because he did not want hurt others anymore. The musical was a sublimation of the novella, because in the musical, Jekyll died for love instead of reputation.

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Letter is a great form for monologue


Letter is a special form of first person perspective. Stevenson’s narrative mainly followed Utterson’s experiences in order to create suspenses. Using letters from Lanyon and Jekyll, the author cleverly changed the viewpoint from Utterson’s to Lanyon and Jekyll’s, revealing the two doctors’ mental activities. Letter can be a kind of monologue in which characters can fully express themselves without limitations, no matter in the novella or in the real world.

From Lanyon’s letter, we get to know his dilemma, the confusion between his own experience and Jekyll’s discoveries as well as the struggle between protecting his friend and punishing the evil.

From Jekyll’s letter, we know the whole story and the pain inside Jekyll’s heart. After reading the letter, we find Jekyll and Hyde no longer noble doctor and heinous demon, but two separated sides of an ordinary person, which is so ironical and thought-provoking.

In addition, Lanyon’s letter also indicated his attempt to keep Jekyll’s reputation by saying “not to be opened till the death or disappearance of Dr. Henry Jekyll.􏰓” Jekyll also expressed his worry of losing fame in his letter. Along with Utterson’s effort to protect Jekyll’s reputation by expelling Hyde away, the letters help to show us the moral codes of that age, which is a crucial theme of the novella.

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Which kind of scholar do we need?


When we talk about scholars on poems, what is the image in our mind? Is it a doddery man wearing a pair of glasses, mumbling useless theories which people can hardly understand, or a sensitive man, smiling and crying like he is standing beside the poet, experiencing the same joy and suffering similar pain, having a beautiful hope and really caring about things happening around?

Obviously, the scholars in Yeats’s eyes are among the first kind. Though born hundreds of years later, their mindsets are far older than Catullus, the enthusiastic and romantic poet, whose poems, no matter how many years passed, remain as young as the poet’s innocent heart. However, the scholars still use their stereotype to interpret the “young poems”. What a disaster for poems to be interpreted by those do not feel them by heart!

As far as I am concerned, the literature scholars are supposed to guide readers to explore the real meaning and feel the true emotion delivered by the poem. Or furthermore, literature scholars should combine literature and the current society, to extract the essence of the literature and contribute to literary creation. In short, literature scholars should be those discovering or even adding value to literatures instead of those misinterpreting and spoiling literatures.

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