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Word Count: 1,215
The public self and the private self maintain a relatively stable balance in every man woman and child This ubiquitous equilibrium scarcely arouses suspicion nor does it stimulate conversation Why should it Balance has no cause to elicit a response Do fire alarms alert us when no fire is present just for the sake of our self-assurance On the contrary like many other situations that are regularly in a state of homeostasis the balance of privacy and community and actions committed therein only receives attention when exceedingly out of alignment Now one must say to oneself Thats all fine and good But who sets the rules of equilibrium Who decides alignment Who says that fires are out of the ordinary havoc and mayhem not standard Well equilibrium does not necessarily imply serenity or the absence of peril Only when tranquillity is the tried-and-true norm does it become the standard for balance In hell fire is the norm Equilibrium is only supplanted when a fire goes out Maybe they have alarms for that Onward to addressing my problem of whom establishes balance for the rest of us In the actual world we learn through trial and error what is regular and what is fluke to establish our own ideas of what is customary In literature for the reader to become oriented they must search for clues as to the equilibrium of the setting What is normal What is out of the ordinary In Robert Louis Stevensons Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde the reactions of his characters provide the reader with a backdrop of that reality When events start to go askew we look to these characters to show us just how far askew Utterson serves as a neutral facilitator to obtain for the reader this feedback Stevenson first establishes these characters as reliable and then relies on their reactionary movements testimony and actions to illustrate the intensity of mans dual natures It is in these reactions
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