Monday Motivations: Shaking the Jekyll and Hyde Masculinity


Fredric March in production still from Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1931, dir. Rouben Mamoulian)

(photo by Gordon Head, via Hollywood Horror: Gothic to Cosmic)

“Man is not truly one but truly two”, is the essence of the Novella -The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This novelette written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1887- about 120 years back. It is still the widely read masterpiece today.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the two characters of the novella are but one; one body two conflicting characters, the good and evil. what I find interesting is that the attire Dr. Jekyll wears is the clothing of what gentleman wore back  then. Dr. Jekyll walks & talks like a well-groomed, well read and well-bred refined man. But as we know just underneath the surface lies something sinister, something that is nothing like the picture above. This picture got me thinking about being genuine and to question who we really are on the inside. Jekyll’s problems began with his motives and desires.

As men it’s important to aspire to refine our personality, take an honest look at our flaws and make the needed changes that will elevate us to a greater sense of self or more importantly closer to what it means to be a gentleman. No amount of clothing, acting or appearance of genteel behavior will change what we may really be on the inside. Alfred Hyde ultimately destroyed the life of Dr. Jekyll. This is a cautionary tale of how it is important for us to be genuine in our intentions and in our actions. Dr. Jekyll was a player who became a pawn in his own game. I equate Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde to “Players”, men who talk like gentlemen, act like gentlemen, dress like gentlemen, but just under the surface they are something quite different. Let’s change this. We live in a society that tells men to express their masculinity based on their clothing, possessions, sexual prowess, or their physical power. With so much emphasis on the surface and what is transient, it’s tough to really know who is genuine and who is not. In the end though what’s important is to aspire to be better, more in touch of who we are on the inside. “What good is a new suit if the man inside is rotten?”

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About TheStyleGent

I blog about character, competency and clothing. Giving back, living well and looking sharp is how you live life with style. What good is a new suit if the man inside is rotten?

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One Comment on “Monday Motivations: Shaking the Jekyll and Hyde Masculinity”

  1. Alex Giassa Says:

    Excellent point and a great analogy. Sadly, men and women are told that in order to be this you must have that. “That” is an external entertainment and it is fleeting. “This” is an internal genuine happiness with oneself – happy in any situation.

    Reply

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