The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

By | January 31, 2017

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is so well known that the names of the characters are regularly used as verbal shorthand for a certain personality style. The novella doesn’t take long to read and the writing style keeps the reader gripped, even though the elements of  mystery and surprise are somewhat lost as most readers know what’s likely to happen in the story before they even pick up the book.

Unfortunately too many people who read the book identify the characters easily in their workplace or their life – it’s their manager in action, or one of their relatives.  Those with newly minted teenagers in the house will make the link immediately.

Managers are under pressure to perform and just as much pressure to be helpful and supportive of their teams and colleagues. The two demands often cause conflict, and rather than balancing the two in a consistent and predictable management style, managers find themselves lurching between their Jekyll and Hyde styles with little in between.  Teens with hormones running wild slip between the two states frequently.  With differing values sets and priorities, it’s easy to interpret the actions of your in laws as almost entirely Mr Hyde when dealing with you, whilst they remain a picture of Dr Jekyll reasonableness with your other half.

I really enjoyed reading Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.  Despite thinking I knew the characters and the story already the book still had plenty to offer and gave me more to think about than I’d anticipated when I picked it up for a quid at the Oxfam second hand bookshop.  I read it in one sitting on a cold and rainy afternoon, but the story and character(s) has stayed with me for much longer than that.

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