In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, how does Jekyll interpret his relationship to Hyde?  

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dr. Jekyll goes through several phases of interpreting his relationship to Hyde. At first, Jekyll is simply delighted about being Hyde. For one thing, he has proved his theories about dualities and separating dualities to be true. For another, he feels a vast freedom in being able to behave anyway he wants and have no constraints and, more importantly, no possibility of shaking people's opinion of him as a man of high moral and religious values. As Jekyll's conversions to Hyde (a name in Scandinavian meaning sanctuary) continue, Jekyll becomes worried and then alarmed because he feels Mr. Hyde becoming stronger and more robust with his evil power. Jekyll feels the relationship between them changing and knows that, at the rate things are going, he will one spontaneously turn into Hyde and stay that way. At this point Jekyll begins to be fearful of the relationship. Indeed one morning he awakens in Dr Jekyll's house and bed but in Mr. Hyde's stature and person. Another change in how Jekyll feels about the relationship when he mends his ways and devotes himself to doing good: he feels like a man who has escaped a horrible fate. He even feels arrogant and smug about his charitable activities. Finally, when Hyde takes over once again while Jekyll sits sunning himself in the park and gloating about himself, Jekyll's feels pure terror about his relationship to Hyde; knowing there is a price on Hyde's/his head for murder undoubtedly spurs that terror forward. It is this final feeling of terror that compels Jekyll to end the life of Hyde and in so doing, end his own life as well.

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