- Stevenson, Robert Louis, and Martin A. Danahay. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
Hyde. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview, 2005. Print.
This is the reference text. I will examine the fears that are presented by the author both overtly and through subtext. The Strange Case…is a story about many fears; fears of devolution, colonization, science & technology, and repressed sexuality. This is clear from the feminization, animalization, and the stereotyping of Hyde. There is a lot of historical context (such as the release of the Origin of Species) that help frame the fears of the novel within the Victorian time.
- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. By Frank Wildhorn, Steve Cudden, and
Leslie Bricusse. Plymouth Theatre, New York. 21 Mar. 1997. Performance.
This is the citation for the Musical that is based off of the book by Robert Louis Stevenson. It changes the plot completely, adds a few characters (female love interests!), and features Jekyll as the center of the action. Jekyll’s motivation stems from the sickness of his father, which he thinks was caused by evil. He proposes his idea to a court, saying that it is possible to separate themselves from their evil self. He wants to do good by experimenting on prisoners. The writers completely change Jekyll’s motivations, turning him into a hero. The show also introduces three female characters, including a fiancée for Jekyll. Jekyll eventually kills himself at his own wedding, after killing the court members who originally rejected him and a guest at the wedding. He dies in his lover’s arms.
So why the changes? This is the question my thesis will stem from.
- Gaughan, Richard T. Mr. Hyde and Mr. Seek: Utterson’s Antidote. The Journal of
Narrative Technique, Vol. 17. No. 2 (Spring, 1987), pp. 184-197.
Gaughan’s main focus is on defining Utterson as the main character, the one who’s transformation, though subtle, is interesting and more important to watch. However, he also spends a great deal of time talking about the duality of Jekyll and Hyde, and how one cannot exist without the other. He talks about the boarderline between lightness and darkness. Both his argument on Jekyll’s needing of hyde, and on Utterson as a narrator could prove to be a valuable resource. In the musical, Utterson is no longer in the staunch, narrator role that he once was. Jekyll is the subject of the show, and his tragedy is what we, as the viewers focus on. Gaughan also talks, like Toumey, about Jekylls repressed sexual desire that appears in Hyde.
- Toumey, Christopher P. The Moral Character of Mad Scientists: A Cultural Critique of
Science. Science, Technology & Human Values, Vol 17, No. 4 (Autumn, 1992),
In this article, Toumey argues that the introduction of female characters in the stage and screen adaptions of the book increase Stevenson’s duality of man motif. The first show was on stage in 1887, under Stevenson’s direct guidance. This love interest stayed through many adaptions of the book, including into the musical that I will be examining. He writes “When Social Standards of Sexual behavior became more tolerant over the last hundred years and sexual repression los the legitimacy it had enjoyed in the same climate of Victorian values, then the transition back and forth between Jekyll and Hyde lacked the opprobrium that Stevenson intended” (433). Jekyll was meant to be the moral character, the and Hyde the immoral. But modern interpretations, like the play have blurred that line.
- Jones, William B. Robert Louis Stevenson Reconsidered: New Critical Perspectives.
Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2003. Print.
In this book, Jones explores many different perspectives in The Strange Case…, including the importance of the absence of women (the part I will be focusing on. I think…). He argues that Hyde’s “sexual neurosis” is not completely expressed by Stevenson because he is still “steeped” in Victorian values. He also explores the differences between the film versions including a love interest and the original text, which does not. He cites several possibilities as to why there is an absence of women, including representation of sexual repression, that Jekyll/Hyde’s life wouldn’t be possible with a family, and homosexuality. He also tries to explore why Stevenson then tried to include women in the 1887 play adaption.
- Hills, Matt. “Counterfictions in the work of Kim Newman: Rewriting Gothic SF as
“Alternate Stories” Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 30, No. 3, The British SF Boom (Nov.,
2003), pp. 436-455
Hills explores many different texts, but, in regards to The Strange Case… he comments specifically about sexuality. The argument of his article is about these “alternate stories” in Gothic Science fiction, specifically, in this novel, Hyde’s sexuality and sexual desire. “Women are the one important element so prevalent in movie and stage and television versions of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, yet are almost totally missing in the novella (Quoted from Twitchwell). …. Suggests that we are dealing with … expectations regarding the heterosexuality of Jekyll and Hyde narrative, and anxieties regarding the absence of this normative sexuality in Stevenson’s novella” (pp 443). He talks about the possibility of Hyde’s homosexuality, abusive nature, or, as seems to be the trend, repressed sexual desires. He analyzes the arguments made by other scholars, using them support his claims.
- Cohen, Ed. The Double Lives of Man: Narration and Identification in the Late Nineteenth-Century Representation of Ec-Centric Masculinities. Victorian Studies, Vol. 36, No. 3, Victorian Sexualities (Spring, 1993), pp. 353-376
This article is focused mainly on the possibility of homosexuality or feminizing of Victorian men. Cohen talks about the psychology at the time, the sexual repression, and the gendered norms. He talks about Freud, and other leading theorists and authors that explored this subject in Victorian times. This article would be most beneficial as a historical context, rather than a direct report on the novel, though The Strange Case is mentioned as an outlier due to its lack of directly sexual or overtly feminizing imagery. He gives Jekyll the title of “Double man”, and talks about the experience of this duality from a sexual prospective. Jekyll is creating a binary for himself that is not binary. He also focuses on how Jekyll is described as “worthless” and “monstrous”, and how that relates to sexuality.
- Gay, Peter and Harth, Phillip. Victorian SexualityThe American Scholar, Vol. 50, No. 2 (Spring 1981), p. 288
This article provides a look into Victorian Sexuality, looking at literature from the time (not including The Strange Case… and coming to the conclusion that Victorian sexuality was actually a lot more liberal than we tend to imagine or as portrayed in guidebooks for the family that we see. Gay explores Carrow’s erotic poetry, searching for subtext. Harth briefly talks about the history of sexuality at the time, and offers the notion that it actually became more rigid during the Victorian era than it ever was beforehand. This lends an interesting insight into two, opposite arguments that make up our view of the Victorian era. This could also lend some important clues as to why Stevenson decided to include women in later adaptations of the novel and why that idea stuck.