“Modern is used to create another dog,

“Modern
secular thought has its own dualism: It treats only the physical world as
knowable and testable, while locking everything else – mind, spirit, morality,
meaning – into the realm of private, subjective feelings. The so-called
fact/value split” (Nancy Pearcey). This quotation displays
how everyone in modern society attempts to be an overreacher by utilizing the
world like a laboratory to test inventions that could eradicate the human race.
An example of dualism in our society is dog cloning where the genetics of one
dog is used to create another dog, both sharing the same genetic identity. Both
dogs will possess the same essential attributes such as appearance, prudence,
and intelligence. This concept of duality is shown in both novels: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
by Robert Louis Stevenson. In Frankenstein,
Victor Frankenstein creates a monster, his double, in an attempt to eradicate
death. The monster, however, looks entirely different from Victor with its
appearance considered abnormal or disfigured by society. In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,
Dr. Jekyll creates his double by transforming himself to Mr. Hyde to explore
the dark side of humanity. Even though Victor Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll are
successful with their pursuits, it is obvious both characters are morally corrupt
considering their unethical use of science that causes tragedy upon others and
themselves.

Foremost,
Victor Frankenstein’s earnest obsession of eradicating death causes him to be
morally corrupt. During his childhood, Victor Frankenstein becomes fascinated
with science and develops a great interest with the secrets of life. He
continues to study science in university and becomes ambitious to pursue
something unprecedented: “I was surprised that among so many men of genius who
had directed their inquires towards the same science, that I alone should be
reversed to discover so astonishing a secret” (Shelley 42). His obsession with
his pursuit represents his degeneration as a character as he isolates himself
from society showing that he values materialism and science more than his
family and spiritual values. His aspiration and addiction for recognition symbolizes
man’s thirst for pleasure: “When we are addicted to something we strive for the
pleasure it brings” (Rosen). This suggests that over-ambition caused by the
desire of self-satisfaction through any means leads to immoral values and the responsibility
of one’s actions.

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At
the same time, Dr. Jekyll’s objective of proving good and evil coexisting
within man shows the immorality that exists within us. Dr. Jekyll did not want
to abide with the Victorian etiquette prompting his scientific journey. Dr.
Jekyll feels that his immoral side and unrestrained actions would lead him to
his happiness: “I knew myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be more
wicked, tenfold more wicked, sold a slave to my original evil” (Shelley 63). This
quotation suggests that freedom and prosperity is found in the evil side of men
where wicked intentions are unrestricted rather than suppressed. The Victorian
society forces men to suppress their true nature, which represents the years of
evolution of mankind. The limitations that society dictates further depresses
people as they are restricted to fully express their true emotions and feeling,
showing the devolution of humans rather than evolution. Even though immorality,
caused by egocentric impulses that put ourselves first before others (Taylor),
and ethics, when empathy and compassion impel us to put the needs of others
before our own (Taylor), the two nature of men enables us to develop ideas and
go beyond the limitations of nature leading to the evolution of humans.

Furthermore,
Victor Frankenstein uses an unethical biological method to create the monster
he envisions. Victor Frankenstein collects various body parts to resemble the
creature: “I collected bones from charnel-houses and disturbed, with profane
fingers, the tremendous secrets of the human frame” (Shelley 45). This quotation
shows the importance of each part of the human body and that life can be created
from death. However, the unethical use of science and going over the boundaries
of nature leads to “a fear of unintended social consequences of scientific
discoveries and new technologies” (Venkataraman). This suggests that science,
if used conscientiously, can have positive results, but if used unjustly to
‘play God’ and go beyond the boundaries of nature, the results can be
monstrous. This novel conveys a message that science is primarily depended on
as a solution to humanistic problems, but it is often profanely used on
experiments that worsens a situation.

Similarly,
Dr. Jekyll uses chemistry to abusively transform himself into Hyde. Dr. Jekyll
uses some kind of salt and dilutes it to make a potion that successfully
transform him to Mr. Hyde: “I had long since
prepared my tincture; I purchased at once, from a firm of wholesale chemists, a
large quantity of a particular salt which I knew to be the last ingredient
required” (Stevenson 63). The potion did transform him to a different person; however,
the constant consumption of the potion enables Hyde to become stronger to a
point where he cannot be resisted by Dr. Jekyll. Medicine, for example,
actually strengthens the pathogens the more it is consumed and deprives the
body of their defense mechanisms to protect the body from unwanted illnesses.
The potion, which is also perceived as a form of medicine in real life,
represents the weakness of the human body and its limitations. Dr. Jekyll
abusive use of the potion suggests that excessive consumption or excessive use
of science to the human body leads to devastating results. Even though the potion
has short-term effects, that is transforming Dr. Jekyll from Hyde then back to
himself, the long term effects of immorally using it worsens the situation.