Frankenstein And Dr. Jekyll Essay

Length: 8 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Literature Type: Essay Paper: #27401305 Related Topics: Memes, Frankenstein, Novels, Mary Shelley
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Kuwait language Arabic, consideration moderate English. I an essay 8 pages including a thesis statement MLA outline ( thesis outline a separated page). My Essay a comparison Frankenstein Mary Shelly (1831 edition) The strange case Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Robert Stevenson.

Comparison between Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and Robert Louis Stevenson's "Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"

The Risks of doing science

The connection between the two scientists

Society's tendency to steer away from the idea of evil

The scientist's understanding of his feat


Fast progress as a cause for death

Mary Shelley's book "Frankenstein" (1818) and Robert Louis Stevenson's book "Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1886) are two historic novels that are widely known and appreciated as a consequence of the ideas they put across. Both books address the concept of a scientist attempting to manipulate the rules of the universe and eventually causing great destruction as a result of their efforts. In a way, these scientists appear to fuel the stereotypical image of a researcher who disturbs the natural balance in the world as a result of getting involved in activities that are against generally accepted cultural values. Both novels address the idea of death as being caused by the suffering one person triggers. Numerous people die around Frankenstein and around Dr. Jekyll (he even ends up killing himself), thus emphasizing the degree to which changes in nature's balance can affect the world.

II. The risks of doing science

Mankind is obsessed with the idea of evolution and ever since the early ages people have expressed particular interest in wanting to know more about the world and in trying to do everything in their power in order to make life more rewarding. Even with this, people are likely to perceive evolution differently depending on their background and on their general type of thinking. Some might be inclined to believe that progress has a positive effect on society as a whole while others are intimidated with fact that science seems to be less effective as people learn more.

The very idea of the future is bleak to some people and they thus feel hesitant about being enthusiastic about life in general. "Whether the universe is to expand forever or will collapse again in some billions of years, ending in ice or in fire, there is no indication of a humane human destiny." (Drees 2) Individuals are thus inclined to believe that accumulating a great deal of knowledge can sometimes be harmful for a person.

Richard Dawkins' book "The Selfish Gene" relates to people as being nothing but machine-like creatures. Many are likely to oppose this idea and to believe that people are much more than that and that science only succeeds in providing a bleak and uninteresting view on life. To a certain degree, people's ability to focus on the future is owed to the fact that some have the courage to put across behaviors that society is unlikely to accept. "Our ability to look ahead, to simulate the future -- and this is in particular the ability of the scientist -- gives us the power to resist the selfish genes we are born with, and if necessary the selfish memes with which we are indoctrinated -- a call to rebel against the tyranny of our genes and memes." (Drees 3)

Numerous religions emphasize the fact that evil is not necessarily a natural concept, as people make its existence possible through their actions. Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll similarly took on attitudes that went on to address the idea of evil as being something strongly connected with human behavior and thinking.

Moses Maimonides is a prominent Jewish historic figure and is known for his involvement in connecting science to religion in an attempt to have people acknowledge the benefits associated with supporting both fields. While Maimonides recognized the existence of supernatural powers that humanity was unable to explain, he was strongly against individuals getting involved in magical practices. His theories led people to consider that the only way it was possible for evil to exist was by making goodness absent. As a result, considering the idea of evil as something that has a form and as something...


The connection between the two scientists

In a way scientists take on risks that the masses are unwilling to take, as this is the only way for them to achieve progress. Dr. Victor Frankenstein and Dr. Henry Jekyll are both displayed as characters who are initially interested in acting for the benefit of science and of society as a whole. A concept that brings the two together is that they are very different from typical scientists living contemporary to when the novels where written. Instead of following a graduate road in trying to gain a more complex understanding of the world, they engage in practices that have to do with the difference between good and evil and with the idea of creating something that humanity would disprove of.

Both Frankenstein and Jekyll are renowned scientists who spent their whole lives trying to discover ideas that the masses were afraid to even consider. Frankenstein is an exemplary student throughout his years in the university and is particularly proficient in chemistry and related fields. Dr. Jekyll is a similarly notable individual in the world of science, taking into account his numerous degrees and the fact that he is appreciated by the science world as a result of his contributions.

One of the reasons why the two scientists tend to be rejected by their peers is the fact that they dare to get out of the realm of normal science with the purpose of engaging in experiments that most of the science world considered nonsensical and against common sense. They engage in thinking techniques that science and humanity in general are typically about considering. Considering ideas promoted during the early and late nineteenth century, it would be safe to say that people were reluctant about supporting controversial scientific experiments and that most individuals were likely to reprimand scientists who took things too far.

The greatest difference between Dr. Jekyll and Frankenstein is that the former was actually concerned about making the world a better place through his research while the latter primarily wanted to upgrade his status and to fuel his pride by making discoveries that no one was capable to make. The two scientists eventually manage to demonstrate that human nature can largely be divided in two: good and evil.

Dr. Jekyll realizes the constant fight between good and evil that people have to face and decides to perform a study that would reveal more information regarding this fight and potential ways to make good more likely to win. The scientist feels frustrated with his previous immoral behaviors and intends to create a potion that would put his vices in a state of sleep while he would be able to engage in moral activities. Instead of doing what he initially intended it to, the potion proves to be a way of separating his vices from his general character. While managing to create a persona in accordance with his interest, Dr. Jekyll also creates Mr. Hyde -- a man who embodies everything that his creator hated about humans.

Frankenstein is an arrogant scientist who concentrates on performing experiments that improve his social status and that would make him feel better about himself. He feels less enthusiastic about the contribution that his research is going to bring to the world of science. As a consequence, he is disappointed as he observes the creature he created. He is unwilling to know it better or to attempt to help it gain a better understanding of its condition.

IV. Society's tendency to steer away from the idea of evil

While it would be wrong to say that Frankenstein wanted to familiarize himself with the idea of evil, his experiment was, to a certain degree, characteristic to people's traditional idea of evil, considering that he intended to create life. In contrast, Dr. Jekyll actually aimed to find out more about evil. In order to achieve his goals, he chose to perform an in-depth analysis of the concept and invested his most valued resources in the process.

V. The scientist's understanding of his feat

What is surprising about Dr. Jekyll is that he had a much more complex understanding of his experiment when compared to Frankenstein. He was well aware of the existence of good and evil and of the fact that all people can be both good and evil through their lives. In contrast, Frankenstein overestimated his powers and was certain he was able to create a work of art that would concomitantly be one of the most important discoveries in human history. Even with the fact that the monster's existence was actually an impressive feat, Frankenstein believed…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works cited:

Dawkins, R. "The Selfish Gene: 30th Anniversary edition." (Oxford University Press, 16 Mar 2006)

Drees, W. "Is Nature Evil? Religion Science and Value: Religion, Science and Value." (Routledge, 2 Sep 2003)

Shelley, M. "Frankenstein, Or the Modern Prometheus: The 1818 Text." (University of Chicago Press, 1974)

Stevenson, R.L. "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." (Alan Rodgers Books, 1 Aug 2005)

Cite this Document:

"Frankenstein And Dr Jekyll" (2014, November 30) Retrieved December 7, 2022, from

"Frankenstein And Dr Jekyll" 30 November 2014. Web.7 December. 2022. <>

"Frankenstein And Dr Jekyll", 30 November 2014, Accessed.7 December. 2022,

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