Two Hydes To Every Story

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

This was my first time reading DJ&MH, and I'm really surprised about how distorted the image of Edward Hyde has become. From the many, many imaginings and re-imaginings of the story through the years, from plays to cartoons to movies, Hyde has taken on a larger-than-life, more-brutal-than-a-chainsaw kind of image. Remember seeing Jekyll clutch his chest and fall behind a chair only to emerge as a monstrous brute with crazy hair, glaring eyes, and an imposing figure.

I remember seeing that! And I was rather surprised to find out that Hyde was actually smaller in stature than Jekyll! He was shorter, littler, but very stolid. The reasoning behind this was brilliant. You see, when Jekyll drank that concoction of his, it allowed his repressed immoral side to take control of his body's steering wheel, for lack of a better term. Since Jekyll had only recently started dabbling in those "earthly pleasures" and, well, displeasures, this "Hyde" part of his persona was rather like a newborn, or smaller in proportion to the rest of Jekyll's "good-natured" self. So this is why Hyde's physical representation was smaller.

Of course, he isn't just smaller and more imposing. He's described as having "some sort of hidden deformation that makes you instantly loath his being, as if he weren't human, or were pure evil. As if he doesn't have a conscience..." I'm just paraphrasing that, but it's the gist of a bunch of eye witnesses testimonies. Since eyes are the "windows to the soul," I just made my illustration have black, shadowed eyes.

One spine-tingling moment towards the end of the novel was the reveal that Hyde had actually grown between one span of transformations. Eeeep!

About the illustration:

Following my recent stylistic trend (well, except for my last one), this booksketch was done in watercolor and Micron pen. Edward Hyde is looking smugly at the key to the rear entrance to Jekyll's house, which is through the old, unused lab/dissecting room.


MamaLern said...

He sort of looks like Dudley Moore. An evil Dudley Moore.

Muse said...

This looks great, Burt. When I was little I would stare at mannequins for a long time because I was certain they were going to move - I get the same feeling with this drawing. Creepy.

Tim said...

Well, I for one am just glad you've gained a greater respect for why he was in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.


Tim said...
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Burt said...

Haha, I was actually proud that I made it through writing the description without mentioning that blasphemous movie...