It's the classic good verses evil, seen through Jekyll and Hyde, the divided personalities within the one body.
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
13th Nov 1850 - 3rd Dec 1894
Stevenson suffered from reoccurring illnesses from childhood till his death, leaving him extremely thin. He was an only child and described as 'strange looking,' and 'eccentric.' Due his illnesses he spent a lot of time at home, and wrote lots of stories.
He moved from his birth place of Scotland to warmer climes,to Bournemouth, for his health. Here he wrote Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, inspired by a dream. Apparently, he was ill with a haemorrhage at the time.
It has been said that we place a part of ourselves in our work. That rings a bell. Oh, yes. I'm reading The Picture of Dorian Gray at the moment. It is true, I believe, and Stevenson certainly did in this work. He was interested in how personality effects our lives, and with him suffering will bouts of illness, this story is symbolic of his physical and spiritual struggles.
I recently read The Golem by Gustav Meyrink, and this book has the same feel to me. Jekyll and Hyde were always on the periphery, yet they drew you in, through the streets and houses, murder and fear. Poor Dr Jekyll feels alive as Hyde, but this dark side has to die.
The story is allegorical, as Stevenson's wife suggested. Good verses evil. I think from a psychological point of view, conscious verses subconscious, it would make a great study. I enjoyed this book and have discovered, from other books I've selected in my 50 list, that a nice 'shelf' of them are Gothic horror.