The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll Essay

The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll Essay, Research Paper

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Some of the most horrible crimes in the 20th century, mostly ones that deal with one or mutable killings, were committed by people that were mentally unstable or unable to think or act reasonable unlike the rest of the people in the world. In other words, these people were considered insane. When it comes to these criminals being tried, the question comes up: is a punishment that would be regularly placed upon a sane criminal is proper and acceptable for an insane criminal? Should the criminals be given leeway or less of a punishment because of the weakened condition of their mind? These questions come up as a result of reading the book The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. My opinion on this subject is that I m against the punishment of criminals who are found to be insane.

I think that at the current time period we are in, with all the medical advancements into the mind we have, criminals that are found insane shouldn t be punished the same as sane criminals. Insane people have no control over their actions or behaviors; they can t be justified. I believe that insane felons need help mentally, and thus shouldn t be punished like sane felons. The insane should still be kept away from the rest of the world but not kept in prison, rather a medical facility. In a medical facility the insane can be studied, so in the future mankind will have a deeper understanding to what is happening in the heads of the insane. This would be a better choice than putting them in prisons, as matters might get worse for the insane criminals. I fully believe in this action, but there are always exceptions to the rule. That s where the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde comes in.

The case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of weird circumstances. From looking at the case through the perspective of Mr. Utterson or anyone of Jekyll s servents through the book, one would conclude that Dr. Jekyll is insane and his actions as himself or as Mr. Hyde proves it. The constant mood swings Dr. Jekyll displayed through out the book before his death to his closest friends was very out of the ordinary. Before his death, Dr. Jekyll locked himself in his laboratory for over a week only giving Poole orders to find a type of salt. When under his second identity as Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll would without reason burst into violent tantrums, to the point where he clubbed a man to death. All of these signs I mentioned point to the mental unstableness of Dr. Jekyll. But the book isn t called the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for nothing.

As I said before, looking at all the incidents from Mr. Utterson s perspective; the evidence is rock hard that Dr. Jekyll is insane. Without a shadow of a doubt I believe Dr. Jekyll is insane too, but I believe he is an exception to my belief that insane criminals shouldn t be punished the same as sane criminals. The reason is because he had total control over his actions. If you were to look at the case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde through Dr. Jekyll s perspective, it is clear that he is an exception to the rule. In the letter addressed to Mr. Utterson after his death, Dr. Jekyll states that as Mr. Hyde he found fun and pleasure in the violence he committed. The fact of the matter was that Dr. Jekyll was never mentally unstable when changed to Mr. Hyde; the change was only physical. He was in a struggle of two different people, but had the same mind. Unlike insane criminals that crimes were out of their control and understanding, Dr. Jekyll was just a sick man as Mr. Hyde and knew what he did was bad and still did it. That is why I think Dr. Jekyll should be punished the same as sane criminals.

I believe that crimes committed by insane criminals cannot be justified because of the insane persons understanding of the matter. It isn t fair to give the same punishment to these insane people as it would for a sane person. There are always exceptions though, as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde shows.

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