How does Dr. Jekyll interpret his relationship with Mr. Hyde?

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bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At first, Dr. Jekyll is excited when he changes into his alter ego. "I felt younger; lighter; happier in body; within I was conscious of a heady recklessness,..." Jekyll feels a sense of freedom from his transformation, knowing that Hyde represents a part of himself. "This too was myself. It seemed natural and human. In my eyes it bore a lovelier image of the spirit, it seemed more express and single, than the imperfect and divided countenance I had been hitherto accustomed to call mine." Later, however, Dr. Jekyll realizes the evil of Mr. Hyde, noticing his smaller stature when he turns into Hyde. As Dr. Jekyll tries to control Mr. Hyde's corrupt and violent acts, Mr. Hyde gains strength, expressed by the merciless and fatal beating of Carew. Hyde enjoys the murder, displaying that "in the hands of Edward Hyde [his pleasures] began to turn toward the monstrous" reflecting Hyde's "vicarious depravity" in carrying out his crime. The only alternative left to Dr. Jekyll is his suicide.

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