Compare and contrast Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are alike in being the same person split into two parts, but the similarities end there. Dr. Jekyll's tall and kindly outer appearance reflects his overall moral goodness, though something "sly" in his looks suggests he is hiding a secret. In contrast, Mr. Hyde is dwarfish and deformed, reflecting his evil character. Today, we would probably find it offensive to associate such physical stereotypes with moral evil or goodness.

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are the same person broken into two men: Dr. Jekyll represents the socialized, restrained, morally informed ego and superego, while Mr. Hyde represents the primitive, atavistic desires let loose without ethical restraint.

Form follows function in this novel, and the appearance of the two men reflects the moral character of each figure. Mr. Hyde is degraded by his barbarous impulses; this is reflected in the way he becomes physically smaller than his counterpart. Mr. Utterson, "perplexed" as he thinks about Mr. Hyde, describes him as "dwarfish" and deformed looking. His appearance is unhealthy. He is pale with an unpleasant smile. He is both cringing and aggressive. Utterson thinks:

God bless me, the man seems hardly human! Something troglodytic, shall we say?

Dr. Jekyll, in contrast, is a tall, expansive, and kindly looking man, the kind of gentleman who fits into his society easily. Utterson sees in him "something of a slyish cast perhaps," suggesting that Harry...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1031 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on April 30, 2020