The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

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What can you tell me about Dr. Jekyll's childhood, education and ambition?

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Dr. Jekyll was born into a wealthy family and thus to a "large fortune." He was hard-working and enjoyed and desired the respect of intelligent and good men. He was attracted to and pursued scientific studies. However, as one of his oldest friends, Dr. Lanyon, explains to Mr. Utterson, Jekyll's scientific studies had become "too fanciful."

As Dr. Jekyll himself explains, he wanted to "dissociate" the two sides of his nature that seemed to be in constant struggle. One side pursued gaiety and merriment, and the other was interested in serious studies and moral pursuits. Because the struggle between the two parts of himself was so intense, and because he knew that many other people must have such a "dual" nature, Jekyll hoped to find a way to split the...

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