"Why did you wake me? I was dreaming a fine bogey tale."
Robert Louis Stevenson's masterpiece of the duality of good and evil in man's nature sprang from the deepest recesses of his own subconscious—conceived in a nightmare from which his wife, alerted by his screams, had awakened him. The tale of the scientist Dr. Jekyll and the drug that transforms him into Mr. Hyde, that loathsome and twisted reincarnation of pure evil, has retained for over a hundred years the ability to send the blood of its readers running cold. Its chilling horror is evoked by the realistic police-style narrative of its telling, by the desperation of Dr. Jekyll as Mr. Hyde gains increasing control of his life, but most of all by giving voice to our own fears of letting loose the monster within—that part of us drawn to violence, evil, and all that society forbids. Written before Freud's naming of the ego and the id, Stevenson's novel demonstrates remarkably perceptive understanding of the personality's inner war. It is an enduring classic, still irresistibly terrorizing—the stuff of our very own nightmares.
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