What is the shadow supposedly inside us? The idea of the shadow is,
according to Carl Jung, the part of the soul that is exactly opposite the rest of our
soul. For me it would be part that is bold and fearless, but at the same time reckless.
-We need the shadow so that when we are in need of it, it will surface. However, the
shadow itself is not as evil as Dr. Jekyll assumed in ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ as it has
parts that are good because the rest of our personality has its bad qualities.
Therefore, if the shadow were non-existent we would not be ourselves.
In the novel ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’, Dr. Jekyll lets out his shadow one
hundred percent. His shadow, Mr. Hyde is despicable and uncontrollable. Dr. Jekyll
should let out his shadow but not to the extremes in which overtakes him entirely.
The shadow will continuously try to surface but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Whether the shadow should stay surfaced is dependent on the situation. For
example, when Dr. Jekyll lets Mr. Hyde out he is making a mistake. The shadow
should not have been surfaced; he should have kept it in. When the shadow is set on
evil it must be contained. An example of when the shadow should have come out
has occurred in my regular life. Without my shadow I am terrified and shy, wanting
more than anything to be bold, brave and strong. I was given a chance to prove one
of my talents and I dismissed it. My shadow, I believe is not bad at all, it is equally
good to the dual part of my soul. If I had let my shadow be free and surface I would
not have written this. Instead I might be in a happier place full of raindrops and
roses. I might also be in the middle of nowhere. Therefore, sometimes the shadow
must surface to succeed.
The shadow has to have both good and bad qualities because the person
without the shadow cannot be perfect; they would not be a person at all. For
example, my psyche without my shadow is still stubborn. Stubbornness is obviously
not an ideal quality, the same with how I am shy. The shadow completes me because
it is bold, but gives in easily, not wanting an argument. My fatal flaws are hubris and
egocentrism. I think I am better than everyone, that I am the singular perfect in a sea
or ordinary. Yet, deep down in my shadow, I know that I am just about as ordinary as
you can be. I know that I am not Frodo or Harry Potter. My shadow keeps me in
reality because if it did not, I would probably get myself killed.
The shadow is a very complicated thing but is clear that it is not all bad
because it also has good qualities that our regular personalities lack. The psyche or
soul needs the shadow for everything to be balanced. Balance is the main focus for
the shadow because it has everything you do not have and nothing you do have. It is
related in a way, to the persona which the balance between masculine and feminine
inside. Therefore, in a way we are everything. If not in our main personality, then in
our shadow. This concept is one that many people do not accept, or do so
reluctantly. Truthfully, we should embrace it and maybe even live by it. If everyone
was who he or she actually is, wouldn’t that be perfect? If everyone could have both
the shadow and the rest of the personality on the surface, life may be perfect. The
thing is, it can not ever be that way because utopia is not real; it is merely a fantasy.
We cannot be all of us in one time; if we were, our brains would pretty much
The topic of the shadow and whether or not it is good or bad is dependent on
you. We need the shadow for balance in our soul, qualities that the rest of our
psyche doesn’t contain, and finally for it to surface when people as need it, even if
we push it down.
— Alice Hwang Y8 Jeoji —