Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" by Robert Louis Stevenson

Beyonce and/or Sasha Fierce

Today, there are so many references to literature in our everyday lives: "What's in a name?" from Romeo and Juliet, "The Midas Touch" from Greek Mythology, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde" from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

On my students' summer reading list was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. So, I have spent some time reading and thinking about this novel. One of the messages that I got from the book is that we are all doubled, meaning that we have a good side and a bad side. According to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, if we allow our bad side to come out it, it will basically take over.

So, I thought alot about this idea of the bad side. And, my thinking lead me to Lord of the Flies by William Golding and how boys who were stranded on an island, for some reason, deflected to their bad side. I thought about the movie "Black Swan" and how the main character's evil side took over, and I also thought about Beyonce. Is Sasha Fierce her bad side, and will it take over if she is not careful? I also thought about us humans, are our good and bad sides in constant battle with each other? Do you ever think bad thoughts and suppress them or act on them?

If you have ever used the phrase, "He's like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," I would recommend that you read this book in order to get a basis for what you are talking about. It is the type of book that is very difficult to put down, and it really made me think about human nature. Stevenson is such a clever writer; he adds lots of great details, and he ties them together at the end of the novel and makes the reader say hmmmmm. It is a very short read but packed with thoughtful, engaging information.

I am going to start my school year doing a deep analysis of this book with my students. I hope that I can use this book to get them to always let their good side prevail, because if their bad side comes out, it just might take over.

I am interested in knowing your thoughts on Good vs Evil. HOLLER.

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