OF THE BABY NAME EDWARD
Edward Cullen is the young vampire in the Stephenie Myers’ extremely popular Vampire series. As portrayed by Robert Pattinson in the movie versions, he is every teen age girl’s heartthrob. The series revolve around Edward’s love for the mortal Bella Swan and hers for him. Although he is a “vegetarian” vampire, i.e., one who eschews human blood, he nonetheless worries for Bella’s safety in her association with him. He is good and true, and it is his burden to futilely wish for humanity in order to truly be with Bella.
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte’s 1847 novel, is one of the most well-known books of all time, and its hero, Edward Rochester, a paragon of romantic Victorian manhood. The master of Thornfield Hall and guardian of Adele, to whom Jane is governess, he is not particularly handsome, but he is worldly and intelligent, and has led a rather unconventional life by the time Jane meets him. He falls in love with the intelligent and independent Jane, but their marriage is thwarted by the revelation of the existence of his insane first wife, Bertha. Jane refuses to live with him as his mistress and goes her own way. After many Gothic plot twists, Edward and Jane are reunited after he risks his life trying, unsuccessfully, to save Bertha in the fire that destroys their house. Though blinded in the fire, he is able to recover enough sight to look upon the son Jane bears him.
In Jane Austen’s first published novel (1811), Sense and Sensibility, when Mr. Dashwood dies, his estate passes to the son of his first wife. The second Mrs. Dashwood and her three daughters, Elinor, Marianne and Margaret, are obliged to move out to smaller quarters on a distant relative’s property. The elder son’s wife, Fanny, has a brother, Edward Ferrars. Before the younger Dashwoods repair to the country, he visits his sister at the old Dashwood home. Edward is an intelligent and likeable young gentleman, and Elinor is immediately attracted to him. He is also very reserved, however, and the nature of his feelings for her are not at first clear. His sister Fanny, of course, makes no bones about announcing to the Dashwoods how important it is for Edward to marry within his own rank and social standing. Poor Edward! He has to work around the complications of an overbearing mother, a bossy sister, a money grubbing brother and a golddigging secret fiancé before he is allowed to have his heart’s desire and marry Elinor. But he does it all, and aren’t we relieved in the end!
Edward Hyde is Mr. Hyde (the bad side) in Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novella, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. When Dr. Jekyll, a physician, self-administers a potion that probes his very soul, the vile Edward Hyde emerges, a creature who is base and wicked. An allegory of the nature of Good and Evil and the duality of human nature, it is not so much a condemnation of that state of affairs as an understanding of the struggle of people to balance the bad and the good, and the consequences of the constant repression of instincts that are better brought to light. Henry Jekyll is actually indulging in the oldest of man’s endeavors: the wish to taste of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, but Edward Hyde is an inevitable result. And let this be the moral to anyone experimenting with one’s own little potions – it is the Edward Hyde side that triumphs.