How Does Stevenson Portray the Duality of Man in the Opening Chapters of ‘the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’?

1845 Words Feb 26th, 2011 8 Pages
How does Stevenson portray the duality of man in the opening chapters of ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’?

Stevenson writes ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ with the intention of showing the reader the duality of man and explores this through the juxtaposition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In this novella, Stevenson also uses the environment and setting of the story to represent the contrast between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

In the opening chapters of ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’, the Soho area of Victorian London is described negatively and disapprovingly, compared to other areas of Victorian London An example of this is in the chapter of ‘The Carew Murder Case’, where the Soho area is
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In the opening chapters of ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’, not only does Stevenson portray Mr. Hyde through his descriptions, but he also creates juxtaposition between Mr. Hyde and his descriptions, making the reader feel confused about the character of Mr. Hyde as is Mr. Utterson during the first few chapters. For example, in ‘The Carew Murder Case’, the interior of Mr. Hyde’s house is described as “... furnished with luxury and good taste.” This shows juxtaposition between Mr. Hyde’s house and himself, as Mr. Hyde would never be described as ‘luxurious’ or a man with ‘good taste’. Also, I think that Stevenson wrote this intending to give the reader a feeling of annoyance towards Mr. Hyde just as Mr. Utterson would be feeling at this point. The fact that Mr. Hyde’s house is being described as ‘luxurious’ makes the reader feel that it’s unjust that someone as horrid as Mr. Hyde could be so easily concealed by the interior of his house to a stranger. Stevenson’s intentions here were to have the reader feel more resent and hate for Mr. Hyde and to, again, show a different form and method of mankind’s dual personality being concealed. There is a saying that keeping your secrets or real thoughts bottled up for too long will only cause agitation and will result in the bottle exploding and leaving nothing but destruction
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