Stevenson's Use of Literary Techniques to Portray Evil in Jekyll and Hyde

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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…show more content…
This gives the impression that Hyde is a monster than comes out only when it is dark and nobody can see him. Whatever he is, he cannot be called human. In Victorian England, if a person looked ugly, criminal-like or ‘giving an impression of deformity’ they were considered to be ugly and criminal-like inside to. If you imagine a person reading this story when that was what was thought, the description of Mr Hyde would instantly label him as the bad character. During the story Hyde’s actions compounds our first impressions of him. Stevenson never says exactly what Hyde takes pleasure in on his nightly forays but it is thought to be of things that would ruin Jekyll’s reputation if they ever came out. There is thought to be strong ties to drugs, alcohol addiction and other dangerous dealings; ‘he had once visited her (the maid’s) master and for whom she had conceived a dislike’. In the very first chapter, Mr Enfield tells his friend, Mr Utterson, a story where he witnessed a strange looking man walking along a deserted street, who ‘trampled calmly over (a) child’s body and left her screaming on the ground’ when they collided. When Mr Utterson approaches Hyde in the street, Hyde shrinks back ‘with a hissing intake’. The word ‘hissing’ procures up the image in the mind of a snake, like the devil in the form of a serpent in the bible. During the book there are many references and motifs to hell and evil; ‘really like Satan’,’ devilish little man’,
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