Charles Darwin to Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

1565 Words Sep 6th, 2009 7 Pages
How does Stevenson present duality in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

Stevenson presents duality in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in various ways. One of these variations of the duality is among the minor characters, for example Utterson and Enfield. Their similarity is that they are both respectable Victorian gentlemen, that both like to discuss stories but they feel it is gossiping about their friend and say ‘let us make a bargain to never refer to this again’, this shows that they feel that they have over stepped the mark and have stumbled upon something that is better left alone, this is also the first mention of a mystery giving us a clue in to the genre. ‘Dink gin … he was alone’ this quote shows us that Utterson was not as social as Enfield
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Jekyll). But the novel was also partly based on a play Deacon Brodia (1880) which is about a ‘publicly respectable gentleman but privately a thief and rakehell.’ The novel had been considered by some people, mainly the higher ranked and important persons of the 19th centaury, as a criticism of ‘Victorian double morality’ meaning they felt it was presenting a false image of what went on in London. They may have also have felt that it was encouraging other people to do things considered wrong-like. This shows duality between the novel and the behaviour in London during the 19th centaury. The novel also creates a lot of tension as you progress through the text. It rises every time something is discovered in the mystery of Hyde which strengthens it’s the detective/mystery genre. At the beginning all is calm but as Hyde comes to life, the tension rises. ‘A really damnable man’ this shows us how much Hyde is hated, but this also shows us where the tension begins to rise. The tension is near enough sky high when the quotes ‘something wrong with his appearance’ and ‘He must be deformed’ are used to make the audience worry and wonder what will prevail from the mystery of Hyde. The weather is a ladder for the tension, described as ‘a wild, cold, seasonable night of March … pale moon’ this was used when Utterson searched for Hyde, showing us a mysterious side of London. Although it doesn’t show much duality, it does play a part in making the novel’s mystery

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