Thoughts on books, often interpreted through the high-brow prism of cartoon (read: Archer) references. Wait! I had something for this...
Thanks to Jeffrey's recent DJ&MH review series (which includes Mary Reilly and Hyde in addition to the original), I realized that I had not, in fact, ever become acquainted with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as Robert Louis Stevenson wrote them. Actually, the closest I'd come was seeing Dr. Jekyll & Mrs. Hyde (a mid-90s movie adaptation that I cannot, in good conscience, recommend), at a friend's house in middle school — and, frankly, no case of two being one involving Sean Young could ever possibly top Finkle and Einhorn, so that film was doomed from the start.*
I'm glad I bothered (and not just because I'm pretty sure I had been pulling a mental Frankenstein-style name mix-up, wherein I assumed the doctor was the more sinister half of the duo). The tale itself is more complex than a "man becomes monster", or binary morality tale (though I can see how excerpts could have been used for the likes of Reefer Madness). The philosophical substance of the story reminded me of one of my favorite passages from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago.
"If only there were evil people somewhere, insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
It's short, and RLS, and a classic. So, really, you have no excuse for not giving the original a read.
* If you were absent from class during the early 90s, and haven't seen Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, you need to remedy that situation immediately.