Friday, January 4, 2008

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

It seems only appropriate that I should read this book, seeing that it is the name I have for my most common parenting style--kind, gentle, and loving most of the time, until I unleash the irrational, hormonal beast from within, usually provoked by innocent infractions such as stickiness on the floor, or the latest chemistry experiment in the bathroom sink. I thought maybe I could pick up a few more tips from the expert(s) . . .
Our first glimpse of Mr. Hyde is a scene in which he viciously tramples an innocent young child (okay, before you think of calling Child Protective Services, let me tell you I have not gone this far!) Thanks to popular culture, we already know that Mr. Hyde is Dr. Jekyll's amoral alter-ego, so the mystery aspect of the book is lost. I can only envy the early readers of the novel who didn't know until the end of the story that the two are the same being. However, knowing the end does not lessen the impact of the age-old theme of the good and evil residing simultaneously within us--"man is not truly one, but truly two." Dr. Jekyll comes to "dwell on the thought of the separation of these elements. If each, I told myself, could be housed in separate identities, life would be relieved of all that was unbearable; the unjust might go his way. . . and the just could walk steadfastly and securely on his upward path . . . no longer exposed to disgrace and penitence by the hands of this extraneous evil." Pick up a copy of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to find out how wrong he was--or, like me, to pick up some new parenting how-to's.


  1. Great review! I've been wanting to read this one for awhile now.

  2. This is one of my favorite books of all time. I can't account for why.