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.
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a novel written by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson and published in 1886. It concerns a lawyer, Gabriel Utterson, who investigates the strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and the reclusive Mr. Edward Hyde. This novel represents an ideology in Western culture; the perpetual conflict between humanity’s virtuosity and immorality. It is interpreted as an accurate guidebook to the Victorian era’s belief of the duality of human nature. This essay will explore Mr. Edward Hyde and whether Stevenson intended for him to be a mere character in the novel or something of wider significance.
“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” is a novella written by Robert Louis Stevenson, a Scottish author. Written and published 1886, this novella reflects on the individual, and societal behavior during the Victorian era. During the Victorian era people, were supposed to behave like a normal person. Certain behaviors were highly restricted for example, showing evil. Instead, they were expected to give respect for everyone. People who acted out against the norm during this period were usually sent to asylums because such behaviors were unacceptable. People in this society did just that, they behaved as if they were perfectly normal. This does not mean that their bad side did not exist. Instead, they hid their
Inside the house of Mr. Hyde, there are rooms that are decorated in conflicting ways. One room was “furnished with luxury and good taste”, additionally it was decorated sophisticatedly and elegantly Stevenson 27). Even though the room was decorated elegantly, it looked as though the room was hurriedly ransacked. The dual theme of the room symbolizes the struggle between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the lower class overthrowing the upper class. Dr. Jekyll’s lab and house are connected but the two buildings have two very different appearances. Dr. Jekyll’s lab has “the marks of prolonged and sordid negligence”, which symbolizes the neglect of the lower class (Stevenson 6). However the house of Dr. Jekyll symbolizes the upper class and is the opposite of the lab.
In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Steveson used the architecture of Dr. Jekyll's house very intelligently. The house can be regarded to be parallel to Dr. Jekyll's double personality. Throughout the book, the house lends itself as a powerful prop, by which it is possible for Dr. Jekyll to use his house even when he is in the form of Mr. Hyde. The house, like Dr. Jekyll, has a dark side. On the front side of the house, it seems to be an elite, upper class, respectable home. However, the rest of the house is quite the opposite. As the book described it – 'discolored wall on the upper; and bore in every feature the marks of prolonged and so did
Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is set amongst the ominous and unsettling streets of Victorian London in the 19th century, which creates a chilling setting in the novel. The importance of setting is that it reflects most of the major themes of the novel like the duality of man, mystery, and good versus evil. Stevenson uses a lot of realistic and imaginative description to set up the mood and atmosphere. Gothic seems to be also one of the major themes in the novel which tend to interlink with secrets like Dr. Jekyll’s connection to Mr. Hyde. Settings like the mysterious empty London helps to create the effect of darkness and evil
“All human beings are commingled out of good and evil.” Robert Louis Stevenson was no fool when it came to understanding the duality of human nature evident within mankind. In his novella, the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Stevenson is able to explore his interests concerning the dark, hidden desires that all human beings are guilty of possessing. In his story, a well-respected professional by the name of Dr. Jekyll experiments with the idea of contrasting personalities and successfully undergoes a physical separation of such identities—one which would soon wreak havoc upon his very existence. As a result of his success, Edward Hyde is born. Hyde, characterized as a miniscule and terrifying, apelike figure from the start,
In the novel “The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde” there is a theme of good vs evil. Good being Dr. Jekyll and evil Mr Hyde they have the inner fight between themselves, because they are the same person.Robert louis Stevenson uses Diction,imagery,and details to contrast the character of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde
This essay will focus on how Robert Louis Stevenson presents the nature of evil through his novel ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. Using ideas such as duality, the technique used to highlight the two different sides of a character or scene, allegories, an extended metaphor which has an underlying moral significance, and hypocrisy; in this book the Victorians being against all things evil but regularly taking part in frown able deeds that would not be approved of in a ‘respectable’ society. This links in with the idea of secrecy among people and also that evil is present in everyone. The novel also has strong ties and is heavily influenced by religion. Stevenson, being brought up following strong
Jekyll’s outward actions may disguise his internal disarray, but it is clearly depicted in his environment. The habitations of Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde parallel the arrangement of his mind state. While Jekyll’s home is open for all to view and enter, every abode highly associated with Hyde is kept locked and off-limits. Hyde’s residence, or the nether-side of Jekyll’s, is an impenetrable fortress with no windows and which showed every sign of “prolonged and sordid negligence” (8). Jekyll’s private cabinet, which contained the chemical components for bringing about his transformation into Hyde, had a door that was “very strong, the lock excellent,” and which required “two hour’s work” by a locksmith to allow admittance (43). The most obvious representative residence is that of Jekyll’s last refuge in the inner sanctum of his scientific research building. The door had to be repeatedly axed to allow forced entry as “the wood was tough and the fittings were of excellent workmanship” (38). This area proved to be the most revelatory of Jekyll’s unconscious, containing many “closets” that
Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde consists of reputation, good vs. evil and damage control. In other words, Utterson tirelessly works to prevent his good friend Dr. Jekyll from being dragged into the horrid affairs of Mr. Hyde, and Dr. Jekyll goes to the greatest of lengths to prevent his Hyde identity from being discovered, in order to avoid anyone knowing of his somewhat questionable scientific work and morally despicable behavior. Much of the novel is based on the characters reputations and how they have to maintain a good public image, as they are upper class people. The novel takes place in Victorian England and the main characters are all male members of upper class London. Enfield, Utterson, Lanyon and Jekyll are all aware of social
Stevenson's Use of Literary Techniques in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The use of opposite colours, between “white hair” and the “dark night” time colour provides a sense of wicked temper to the reader. In addition, various striking, blunt, and punchy images can also be recognised as they imprint an immediate effect on us. The raging image from these extracts have all been intentionally directed to us to show an animalistic brutality within mankind by comparing to the ape and madman, their anger is with a “great flame”, using the language to show violence such as “brandishing the cane” and “clubbed him”, or even by the slightly onomatopoeic sound “shattered” . In spite of the fact he is seen doing the crime, he is not caught - this creates tension. The fact that Jekyll and Hyde are the same person is yet one true fact that Stevenson withholds until the
The front aspect of Dr Jekyll’s house presents a ‘great air of wealth and comfort’ where as Mr Hyde is seen entering a building which seemed to display an air of ‘prolonged and sordid negligence’. This distinction could suggest that any respectable man can have also have a disreputable personality just as two opposing buildings could be situated right next to each other. Stevenson splits the consciousness of Dr Jekyll into a decent side that largely succeeds in attempting to supress his desires, and an unscrupulous side that runs around town trying to gratify his animalistic desires. In doing this, Stevenson explores the battles that everyone in society faces as through Hyde, the respectable Jekyll is freed from the restraints imposed by society
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde elucidates the contextual values of Victorian society, such as a surge for scientific experimentation, self-analysis, liberalism, conformation through concealment and the exposure of man’s dualistic nature; all of which are reflected using traditional English grammar and conventions. Although it may seem paradoxical for Stevenson to instil and reflect the values of liberalism and conservatism within his one novella, this binary instalment reiterates the conflicting inner-workings of man and society. Sigmund Freud’s theory of ‘The Uncanny’ enlightens these very notions as he states, “The Uncanny is in some way a species of the familiar… It applies to everything that was intended to remain a secret, hidden