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

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What is the conflict in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

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Dr. Jekyll's conflict is that he wants to be both wholly good and wholly bad at the same time. He realizes that these two sides of his nature can't be reconciled.

He fully wants to be the morally upright, dedicated, virtuous, exemplary man that most of his friends believe him to be. However, he also dislikes having to control his darker, more aggressive, and more atavistic (primal) instincts. He wants this more dangerous part of himself to have freedom, too.

Therefore, he does experiments that allow him to separate his good and bad sides—his superego and his id, in Freudian terms (though Freud was not yet on the scene)—into two separate people. Dr. Jekyll represents his good, socially acceptable side, while Mr. Hyde embodies his selfish, evil, and murderous side.

Unfortunately, being more primitive and ruthless, Mr. Hyde gains the upper hand. This leads Dr. Jekyll to a second conflict: what can he do to stop Mr. Hyde and his anti-social behavior? Dr. Jekyll is caught between the need...

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