School grade teachers and college professors must practice more awareness in what they choose for their students to read. For literature can inspire bad behavior. Just as television can. Or, just as theater productions can. But does doubt about this fact cause them indecision on what to read? They need only consider how Robert Louis Stevenson’s literature possibly inspired Jack the Ripper’s murders.
How a Californian Girl Realized Literature Possibly Inspired Jack the Ripper’s Murders
Teachers failed to educate me on the importance in filling one’s mind with positivity and good behavior. Thankfully, my parents picked up on where they lacked. As for the countless other children who received little or no instruction on proper behavior and morals, they live lifestyles brimming with violence, misbehavior, and destruction. Some literature merely encouraged such lifestyles.
As the reader has likely already deducted, criminal investigators and curious citizens around the world wondered about Robert Louis Stevenson and Jack the Ripper. Specifically about how The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde may have inspired the notorious, unidentified London killer. Oddly enough, teachers neglected to teach me this in school. I found out through my own deduction and consequential research.
Stevenson’s famous novella was first published in 1886. The resulting fame produced theater productions throughout America and England. However, mere days after The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde first played in the London theater in late August 1888, Jack the Ripper mauled and killed his first victim. Had he read the book? Had the play inspired his mania?
Curious Connections on How Literature Possibly Inspired Jack the Ripper’s Murders
In Stevenson’s novella, the character Dr. Henry Jekyll studied and practiced medicine. Living as a bachelor with extensive financial funds, he used his spare time to concoct scientific experiments. This, as everyone knows, led to the birth of Mr. Edward Hyde, a social and criminal deviant.
Based on how Jack the Ripper murdered the Whitechapel women, the inspectors suspected this unidentified man had a background in medical surgery. How he treated the entrails and preserved certain organs especially made this suspicion seem true. But the British police suspected something more.
In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde renditions, whether they be onstage or on film, the writers presented Dr. Jekyll as even more gentlemanly and righteous than Stevenson had written him. To make the doctor seem more traditional and upright, a young woman for Dr. Jekyll to pursue was added. Stevenson had written Dr. Jekyll in a different light, originally. Making the character resemble a genius and someone who brooded over complex subjects.
Jack the Ripper also seemed to contain a certain genius – a genius to avoid the police, if nothing else. The inspectors referred to his likely propensity to brood. Only, instead of brooding over complex subjects, the murderer would brood over which woman to kill and how to kill her.
Personal Opinion on How Literature Possibly Inspired Jack the Ripper’s Murders
Studies throughout the past few decades in the United States have proven the link between bad behavior on television to bad behavior in younger generations. Why television? Because younger generations watch more television than they read or attend theater. The general conclusion is all entertainment forms can have a negative or positive influence on people.
Therefore, I suspect that Stevenson’s literature did partially influence Jack the Ripper. Some sort of chemical imbalance in the brain seems likely, hence why the murderer brooded. But stories have the power to change people, to lead them toward positive forces or negative roads. And too many similar dark ideas and actions came from Stevenson’s literature and Jack the Ripper’s deeds to be unconnected.
What do you think? Do the similarities make you suspect a connection, as well? Or is Robert Louis Stevenson a literary genius and Jack the Ripper some disconnected maniac killer?