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Dealing With AddictionIn the novella The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson depicts Dr. Jekyll as an upstanding victorian man struggling through some stages of addiction, first with the isolation of himself from his friends. Then showing Jekyll’s denial of there even being a problem that needs fixing. Finally Stevenson shows the reader how dependent Dr. Jekyll really is on the drug. Dr. Jekyll was a complex man trying to live up to the standards set up by Victorian society while also trying indulge in deeper desires. The only way for him to do that however, is to take a drug that transforms him for the law abiding citizen, Dr. Jekyll, into the reckless and bestial, Mr. Hyde.When Dr. Jekyll first began taking the drug his actions and behavior had started to change and his friends began to take notice. In the beginning he would miss a social gathering here and there but as his addiction went on so did his reluctance to greet the outside world. Eventually Dr. Jekyll became a total recluse. He refuses to go outside and refuses to meet with his close friends. Dr. Lanyon claims as much when speaking with Utterson stating that Jekyll “..began to go wrong, wrong in mind;…I see and have seen devilish little of the man”. Dr. Lanyon does not quite understand what is happening to Dr. Jekyll but he knows that whatever it is, it is causing their once beloved friend to shelter himself from the outside world now whether he is repulsed by himself or not this drug is causing Jekyll to change, he is no longer an active member of the community, Instead he is confounded by his inner demons “Withdrawn and isolated, utterly preoccupied with his single obsession, Jekyll is willing to divorce himself from all responsibilities and associations save those which attend the quest for his drug.”. Dr. Jekyll has stopped living ‘his’ life and is instead living someone else’s he is consumed by this drug so much so that he has become dependent upon it.Dependency on drugs can wear down its user to the point where there is nothing left but what/who the drug has left behind. For Dr. Jekyll this was a great thing, since he was young he learned to hide his inner desires in order to become the epitome of the victorian man. With his drug   he finally found a way to live out his innermost desires. He loves it, he loves being Mr. Hyde, he loves not having to worry about what society thinks of him and “Jekyll’s inability fully to renounce and take responsibility for Hyde, even on the brink of death, is indicative of the magnitude of his dependence. His belligerent refusal to surrender to self-recognition reveals that, for all his protests to the contrary, he loves being Edward Hyde”. Dr. Jekyll may stand for all that is good but when he is Mr. Hyde all his responsibilities wither away, he no longer has to worry. Though Dr. Jekyll does not feel the need to worry about tarnishing his image there is still something that he needs to be concerned with. This drug that Dr. Jekyll created, that allows him to transform into Mr. Hyde, has cost Dr. Jekyll. Nothing of monetary value, though the supplies to make the potion could not have been cheap, what Jekyll is really losing are bits of his humanity.With Dr. Jekyll continuously dosing himself with his potion he has seriously put himself at risk. Each time he turns into Mr. Hyde he is giving him more and more control. In doing so he he puts himself and everyone he cares about at risk. In Dr. Jekyll’s case “To acknowledge addiction is to acknowledge that one is dependent rather than self-reliant, and addicts “fiercely resist admitting dependency….the addict likely will refuse to admit that he cannot govern his condition.” Dr. Jekyll outright refuses to admit there is a problem even if doing so could have saved lives, including his own. By denying that there is a problem to be fixed or that something is wrong Dr. Jekyll is prohibiting any form of progress that could at all be possible in a road to future recovery. While not overtly criminalizing himself, when being questioned by Utterson on his relationship with Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll claims that “the moment he chooses, he can be rid of Mr. Hyde”. Dr. Jekyll denies that Mr. Hyde is a problem for him and claims that he may be rid of him whenever he pleases. Dr. Jekyll’s refusal to admit that there is a problem will be his downfall in the end. Dr. Jekyll tries extremely hard to keep both parts of his life separated but they just wind up getting entwined with each other.Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are so very different yet very similar, perhaps because they are the same person but more than that, they both lived a very different life style; one living lavishly and based of emotion, and the other living comfortably and is driven by his emotions and desires. The two could not be more different though. Mr. Hyde is driven by his most primal instincts and acts/reacts based on his desire, something that no proper victorian man could ever do. When looking at Dr. Jekyll however, you see a man driven mad by his dependence on a drug that allowed him to live out his desires. You see a man who has isolated himself from all friends and colleagues  in order to live a tortured and lonely life. Dr. jekyll and Mr. Hyde could not be more different and yet they are the same. Although Mr. Hyde was the one that acted impulsively it was Dr. Jekyll’s obsession with his potion that led him to an untimely end. Works CitedSaposnik, Irving S. “The Anatomy of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Short Story Criticism, edited by Jelena O. Krstovic, vol. 126, Gale, 2010. Literature Resource Center, Accessed 17 Nov. 2017. Originally published in Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, vol. 11, no. 4, Autumn 1971, pp. 715-731.Wright, Daniel L. “‘The Prisonhouse of My Disposition’: A Study of the Psychology of Addiction in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Short Story Criticism, edited by Jelena O. Krstovic, vol. 126, Gale, 2010. Literature Resource Center, Accessed 17 Nov. 2017. Originally published in Studies in the Novel, vol. 26, no. 3, Fall 1994, pp. 254-267.

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