En Strålande Utsikt

-för en 'bättre värld'

Day 8: a book that scares you

This post refers back to this list.

Luckily I do not read horror stories, but there is a novel that is indeed giving the reader a constant chill down the spine:

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), Robert Louis Stevenson

As I reviewed a few months back, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is essentially an inquiry into the dual nature of man: good vs. evil. He does this by letting people just directly outside the main story talk about what is happening, how they feel when seeing certain events, etc. – this indirect approach creates a certain tension and suspension. In that atmosphere, a strange man, under the name of Mr Hyde, takes the place of the otherwise popular doctor Jekyll. Mr Hyde is a despicable figure, a horrifyingly ugly dwarf-like man whose eyes freeze blood. When suddenly murders and beating start to occur around the quarter, Dr Jekyll’s closer friends start to investigate what actually is going on in the shadows, and who this horrible man Mr Hyde really is.

The horror in this novel is not just about the appearance and complexion of Mr Hyde, but about how the primitive and evil nature of man is released and completely transforms the earlier so respected man into a monster. It is that, the human factor, that scares me. The fact that, according to Stevenson, all of us can turn into a monster. What is even more scary, is that we see it all the time: dictators, soldiers following orders, everyday racism, and domestic violence.

That is the scary aspect – we all are primitive monsters, the hard thing is controlling your impulses.


Close calls:

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