Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde can from the story of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louise Stevenson. These two characters are the best example out of the five, in my opinion, who really demonstrate the confliction of British national identity. In Stevenson’s text, Dr. Jekyll is the ideal white gentleman. He is the guy that every girl wants to be with because he is intelligent, handsome, high morals and just basically has it all. Dr. Jekyll represents everything that British national identity would hope to possess; especially with his morals. However, like every other individual, Dr. Jekyll had a sinful side that he continuously attempted to repress. He used his scientific knowledge to develop a potion that “releases his repressed, morally challenged alter ego” (Westerldom, 28). Hence, where Mr. Hyde comes into play. Mr. Hyde was all the sinful, immoral thoughts and feelings that Dr. Jekyll had but obviously never wanted to express. Thus he created a very major split personality for himself. Mr. Hyde represents all evil that possibly lives within someone. He has no control over his actions and evidently does the things in society that civilized people will not do (Humphreys).
The appearance of Dr. Jekyll in Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is the look of a weak and cowardly man, who constantly looks uneasy. The reason for this is because Mr. Hyde has become such a dominant part of Dr. Jekyll, which Jekyll can no longer control when Hyde appears. It seems that although Jekyll was only hoping to release his immoral alter ego from time to time, that seemed to backfire and Hyde became much more dominant and strong than Jekyll could ever imagine. At the beginning of volume I, Mina and Quatermain find Hyde killing prostitutes, showing how outrageous he is. Throughout the graphic novel, there are several scenes where Mr. Hyde becomes vicious and violent, often murdering many different people. Hyde is an image that British national identity would never admit to possessing, but a degree of Hyde lives in many people. By the second graphic novel, Dr. Jekyll is barely ever seen, fore Hyde has become the most dominant of the two. Hyde represents the qualities that individuals attempt to suppress, but Hyde reminds us of imperfection. There is much debate as to whether Hyde was a monster or hero. In accordance to British identity, monster would be the more respectable answer. However, Hyde did demonstrate in different situations that he was more complex than expected. Mina Murray was someone who did not fear Hyde and actually treated him with some respect. That forced a different kind of treatment out of Hyde, where he in turn respected her. He showed a different kind of emotion that demonstrated he wasn’t just the monster; there was more to him than what meant the eye. Hyde felt protective of Mina and when Griffin attacked her, Hyde killed Griffin in the most gruesome way imaginable, disturbing actually. Even though his method was disturbing, it was the emotion that Hyde had towards Mina that would enable him to kill Griffin that way to begin with. Another interesting experience where Hyde acted unexpected was again with Mina, before he was going to sacrifice himself to the martians. He touched her heart and said, “Oh. It’s thundering. So fast…So very fast. I was right then, about this world. Always I knew that heaven would be the cruellest of places. Farewell, my perfect Mina” (Moore). Hyde demonstrates is not much of a monster in this moment with Mina, he is someone who feels.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are two characters that are on opposite sides of a coin. Jekyll is the ideal British national identity; someone who is charming and morally a very good person. Hyde represents all the sinful, evil qualities that live in people. Moore allows for Hyde to overpower Dr. Jekyll, really speaking to the meaning of British identity. The government and empire would love for each citizen to be like Dr. Jekyll and for the national identity to epitomize that; however, the fact that Mr. Hyde dominants Jekyll and evidently diminishes him, shows how what the ideal national identity would like to be, just doesn’t always pan out as planned.