Ever since the time we are little we are told that first impressions are everything and it’s crucial to make a good impression on the people we are meeting. Likewise, we often times judge people – even if it’s inadvertently – on our first impression of them and in the process form conclusions and opinions about them regardless of whether they are factual or not. However often times there is more to a person than meets the eye. In the case of Dr. Jekyll what we see on the surface reveals very little about what’s inside.
When Mr. Utterson first describes his impression of Dr. Jekyll he states “He is not easy to describe. There is something wrong with his appearance; something displeasing, something down-right detestable. I never saw a man I so disliked, and yet I scarce know why.” (Pg. 53). So often we judge people on their appearance, or are quick to get a bad feeling about someone. But many times there are people that we dislike, or form opinions about subconsciously yet we never really know why. For Dr. Jekyll while the Mr. Hyde that he becomes draws immediate images of a monstrous murderer, there is more to Mr. Hyde then meets the eye. Mr. Hyde for Dr. Jekyll represents freedom. He represents freedom from the constraints of Victorian society, freedom from anything holding him back from the lifestyle he wants to live, and most importantly it represents freedom from the parts of himself we wants to forget about.
Ultimately looks can be deceiving, what we think of others and the impression we have others only often tells half the story. Many times people hide their real selves from others because they fear the reactions and judgment that will be passed upon them. In the end whether we choose to look past our first impressions and find out the full story or we choose to let our own uniformed opinions define what we think of others, we can never ignore the question who are we? Are we the people others think we are or we the person that we see ourselves as?