Jekyll Hyde

Caitlyn Passey
Mr. Spencer
Period 1
3 December 2007
“To justify unreasonable actions or views by seemingly reasonable motives” (Webster’s 841) Rationalizing is everywhere from the book, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, to the common drug addict, all the way to a 17 year old high school student.
“The moment I choose I can be rid of Mr. Hyde” (Stevenson 58).   The biggest excuse for someone doing drugs is, “I can quit anytime I want.”   The truth is that the addict focuses on a power that is greater then themselves and acknowledges an ashamed embarrassment.   “The acknowledgment of lessons learned is often followed by thought of suicide especially in situations where the addict might be forced to deal with public persecution” (Addiction in class).
In the state of realization, the average addict will pledge to abstain from further compulsive behavior in disgust at his intoxicated imprisonment to the pursuit of sordid desires (Addiction in class).   This is shown as Dr. Jekyll pledges never to take the potion that turns him into Mr. Hyde ever again, but Dr. Jekyll proved to be an addict when he could not abstain from the potion.   One of his rationalizing comments was, “All human begins as we meet them are commingled out of good and evil” (Stevenson 108).   Dr. Jekyll rationalized turning into Mr. Hyde by saying every human has an evil side that needs to come out and be seen.
Rationalizing can also be called cognitive dissonance, or the need for self justification.   Psychologists say our brains work hard to make us think what we are doing is right. This theory was founded by L. Festinger who said, “People strive to make sense out of contradictory ideas and lead lives that are, at least in their own minds, consistent and meaningful.”   Elliot Aronson helps explain what cognitive dissonance is:
      “Cognitive dissonance is a state of tension that occurs whenever a person holds two cognitions (ideas, attitudes, beliefs, opinions) that are psychologically...