2019 Student Research Conference:
32nd Annual Student Research Conference

Cocaine and Personality Transformation in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Joel W. Brumfield
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a story rife with direct and subtle connections to cocaine use and the changes in personality and identity in its user.  Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novel highlights the drug culture of the late nineteenth century and reflects the duality within himself and society with the emergence of many new unregulated drugs.  This drug revolution is highlighted by Dr. Jekyll and the tendency for doctors to create their own ethics during this time. Between Stevenson’s unprecedented efficiency in producing this novel and the effects of the white, powdery drug Dr. Jekyll takes, while not always explicit, the references to cocaine are abound in the novel and surrounding it. Relying on his own experiences, Stevenson creates a condemning picture of drug use that can lead to horrible personality, as well as bodily, defects and ultimately death.

Keywords: Cocaine, Identity, Personality, Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson, Addiction


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 205-2
Location: BH 241
Time: 10:30

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