How is the theme of nature vs. nurture explored in "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"?
The nature versus nurture debate is a key theme in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The fundamental question that the debate tries to address is whether our characters, as humans, are mostly products of our environments or mostly products of innate, inherent personality traits. In the context of the story, we might wonder whether Dr. Jekyll becomes the monster, Mr. Hyde, because of the society in which he was brought up (or nurtured) or because of some innate tendencies towards evil.
On the nurture side of the debate, Stevenson arguably suggests that Dr. Jekyll creates and becomes Mr. Hyde mostly because of the repressive Victorian society in which he lived. As a respectable Victorian gentleman, Dr. Jekyll felt that he had no release for the natural, human desires and instincts which he felt were always bubbling within him. He was, as a...
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