Across the world there are many problems that one may have to face throughout life, some are worse than others. One serious problem that some encounter is substance abuse. When misused drugs can cause one to act unusual, become evil, and, in extreme situations, become a different person. Throughout the novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the author, Robert Louis Stevenson, develops the story around Dr.
Jekyll experimenting and becoming addicted to drugs.Stevenson avoids writing about addiction directly in the novel. Instead, he embeds the story behind Dr. Jekyll’s experimentation into the text for the reader to discover. One of the most obvious clues to Dr.
Jekyll’s problem is withdrawal. Once a person’s body becomes accustomed to a drug they crave it and a lack of that drug will cause symptoms of withdrawal. Many of these symptoms are seen in Jekyll after he has overused his potion, or drug, causing him to become ill. In the last chapter, “Henry Jekyll’s Full Statement of the Case”, Stevenson gives us many clues within Dr. Jekyll’s writing that he was experiencing withdrawal. “A qualm came over me, a horrid nausea and the most deadly shuddering” (Stevenson 78).
Tremors and nausea are symptoms described in Jekyll but they are also symptoms of withdrawal. “I was seized again with those indescribable sensations that heralded the change; and I had but the time to gain the shelter of my cabinet, before I was once again raging and freezing with the passions of Hyde” (Stevenson 81). In this quote, Stevenson shows the agony that Jekyll is feeling.
His body is begging for that Hyde, or drug, that he craves dearly. In this next quote, Stevenson uses physical hints again to stress the importance. Dr. Jekyll said, “I shall sit shuddering and weeping in my chair, or continue, with the most strained and fearstruck ecstasy of listening.” (Stevenson 83). Depression is a very common side effect of those who abuse drugs.
Stevenson choosing to include Dr. Jekyll weeping and shuddering in his chair is likely a sign of depression arising from the substance abuse. Jekyll’s extreme symptoms of withdrawal cause him to appear “deathly sick” (28). Another hint that is given to support Dr. Jekyll’s addiction is denial. A common side effect among drug addicts is to be in denial of their disease. Jekyll shows that he is in denial when he says, “The moment I choose, I can be rid of Mr. Hyde.
” (Stevenson 20) A similar statement is heard with drug addicts when in denial they tend to say a phrase along the lines of, I can stop whenever I want. Then, later on, it tends to get out of hand as it did with Dr. Jekyll as he got taken over by Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll also loses control of himself and his actions. This is initially seen when Jekyll murders an innocent man, Sir Danvers Carew. His actions at this point display his lack of control because he had no motive for murder.
Later on, Poole, who is Dr. Jekyll’s butler, says to Utterson, “This drug is wanted bitter bad, sir, whatever for.” (Stevenson 45) Poole explains how desperate Jekyll is for this drug that he so badly seeks. His severe desire for this drug shows how he can no longer manage himself. Jekyll, later on, says, “If I slept, or even dozed for a moment in my chair, it was always as Hyde that I awakened.
” (Stevenson 81). In this passage Hyde represents the drug that is taking control of Jekyll. Now it has become clear that Dr.
Henry Jekyll no longer has any control over this substance. As the novel progresses it can be seen that Dr. Jekyll begins coming immune to the effects the drug. The doctor states, “It took on this occasion a double dose to recall me to myself… the pangs returned, and the drug had to be re-administered” (81) The fact that he had to take twice the his ordinary amount to have an effect shows that he could allow us to know he body became used to this medicine.
“I am now persuaded that my first supply was impure, and that it was that unknown impurity which lent efficacy to the draught.” (83) Even though his servants brought every kind of salt they could possibly find, Jekyll is convinced that the salt he needs for his medication is impure. It is much more likely that all the salts are the same, none are impure, and the doctor has become accustomed to the strength of the mineral causing the drug to no longer have an effect on his body.