Dr. Jung and Mr. HydeAnalyze Edward Hyde from a Jungian perspective.  Beyond being the obvious link to the collective unconscious, what aspects might be represented by Dr. Jekyll's willingness to...

Dr. Jung and Mr. Hyde

Analyze Edward Hyde from a Jungian perspective.  Beyond being the obvious link to the collective unconscious, what aspects might be represented by Dr. Jekyll's willingness to tap into and unlock the Shadow?

2 Answers | Add Yours

billdelaney's profile pic

William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Dr. Jekyll is an obvious introvert whose dominant conscious function is thinking. This kind of personality makes him inhibited. Mr. Hyde is evidently an extravert whose dominant conscious function is sensation. His kind of personality makes him uninhibited and reckless. The two individuals are naturally antagonistic to each other. These are terms Jung uses in his book Psychological Types.

Nabokov in his novel Lolita often sounds a great deal like Robert Louis Stevenson in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Both authors seem to be trying to use complicated pseudo-scientific jargon in order to excuse themselves for the immoral actions they can imagine themselves committing.

Nathaniel Hawthorne dramatized the fact long ago that humans are mixtures of good and bad. So did Edgar Allan Poe.

 

jamie-wheeler's profile pic

Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

Dr. Jung and Mr. Hyde

Analyze Edward Hyde from a Jungian perspective.  Beyond being the obvious link to the collective unconscious, what aspects might be represented by Dr. Jekyll's willingness to tap into and unlock the Shadow?

I like Vladmir Nabakov's take on the psychological aspects of Jekyll's personality, which is quite Jungian.  Jung posits that "the directed processes are rational, the undirected irrational" and that "underneath (us all) is an asolute unconscious which has nothing to do with our personal experience"  (Portable Jung, 27, 34).  How much this corresponds to the rational Jekyll and irrational Hyde!

Nabakov applies this mixture of human nature to Stevenson's character.  He argues that Jekyl is not "good" but rather a composite being, a mixure of good and bad...ninety-nine percent Jekyll and one percent Hyde" (Lectures on Literature, 182).  (Nabakov, interestingly, points out that "Hyde" is from the Greek "hydatid" "water). 

As to his shadow, or "anima," to use the Jungian term, Jung says that confronting ones anima is the "masterpiece" of life.  But I would say to do so, one must be in touch with his or own human failings in conscious life first.   Jekyll is unprepared for such a monumentous undertaking.  Jekyll is a "hypocritical creature"; "he is vindictive"; "he is foolhardy"; aspects of the self which the "conscious" Jekyll does not accept (182).

Therefore, when the "mixture" is not kept separate (the 1% Hyde is a powerful concentrate), the evil portion of the man take over, the shadow subsumes the light. 

We’ve answered 318,957 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question