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The dual nature of the human personality is the major theme of Stevenson's novel. Dr. Jekyll, the protagonist of the novel, is a kind and respected man. His friends, however, cannot understand his companionship with the wicked and mysterious Mr. Hyde, who seems to have come from nowhere and has a terrible hold on the doctor. Even as Hyde commits crimes that shock all of London, nobody can guess how and why the two men are so close to each other. Only at the end of the novel is the incredible truth revealed -- that Jekyll and Hyde are one.
The problem of evil forms the minor theme of the novel. Evil finds its embodiment in the figure of Hyde. In this novel, Stevenson evolves a psychology of human personality, according to which even the most angelic person in the world may have a hidden evil side. When released, this evil persona can engage in brutal and even murderous behavior.
The central mood of the novel is one of mystery and terror and an atmosphere of suspense prevails throughout. The tremendous ambition of Dr. Jekyll, coupled with his curiosity, enables him to make a shocking and unheralded discovery. However, this discovery leads to his moral deterioration and culminates in his tragic death.