The Concept of Evil in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Stevenson The substance of the Bible and Greek myths - the premise of the evil that is in man - sometimes lurking deep in the psyche, sometimes controlling and consuming like a wild beast, is explored in Robert Louis Stevenson's (1850-94) short Victorian novel of 1886. Rarely does the mere title of a novel have the myth-making depth to grip the imagination and ensure its place in our language for generations to come. Today everyone knows what is meant by a 'Jekyll and Hyde character'. A handful of other novels with this quality perhaps come to mind; including 'Frankenstein'. In this book the good Dr Jekyll has grown bored with his respectable …show more content…
Stevenson witnessed double standards led by middle class people all-around him, this made him determined to avoid hypocrisy, and to respond against the stern Scottish Presbyterian background which he felt helped to form it. From the beginning of the novel, we are given the impression of an atmosphere consisting of secrecy, and mystery. The setting contributes to this; the strange door which Enfield remarks upon is always locked, the window in the rest of the house forever shut and the buildings around the 'court' huddled together as if in conspiracy. Utterson lies in his 'curtained room' in 'the gross darkness of the night' with 'a great filed of lamps' - referring to the gas street lamps. As coal was burnt so much at this time, the fog was a constant problem. The fog adds to the atmosphere of gloominess and secrecy and 'the dismal quarter of Soho' appears to Utterson 'like a district of some city in a nightmare'. Hyde undoubtedly symbolizes 'the beast in man' and is described continually using animal imagery. When he is tackled by Utterson, he is described as 'hissing like a cornered snake'; Poole describes him as a 'thing' which cries out 'like a rat'; he walks 'like a monkey' and
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Good and Evil in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Dr. Jekyll is benevolent and pleasant in his social interactions. He attempts to cover up his darker self by creating a courteous public persona. Everyone has a different persona when they are outside in the eyes of the public and when they are inside. Through Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll reveals his destructive side. Transforming into Mr. Hyde gives Dr. Jekyll a freedom to act and behave without caring about the public’s opinion or about the consequences of his actions. Dr. Jekyll is captured and locked up deep inside, he appears reasonably appropriate on the exterior but his inner reflections drives him towards immorality. As Dr. Jekyll privately turns into Mr. Hyde, not only is his appearance transformed, but also his behavior. This can be a similar caparison on people in today’s society. People with high status or popularity are always being watched with every move they make. If they make one small mistake, then that will look bad on
“...sinister block of building” (49). This quote describes the house that Hyde went into after talking to Utterson. Other descriptions of this building also have the same mood. Another quote is “It was a black winter morning” (49). The way Stevenson uses the adjective “black” gives the setting that creepy edge to it. “...distasteful sense of strangeness” (55). The way this quote uses “distasteful and “strangeness” helps the reader understand the unpleasing character and looks of Hyde. This is how Stevenson uses diction to give the reader more understanding of the setting and
“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,
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was wrote in 18th centuries, the times that were defined as ‘Gothic revival’. The literature in this times had similar thematic elements include supernatural or ‘fantastic’, violent crime (death and murder), passionate romance (often with death). The novel Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was considered as typical Gothic literature. Particularly, repression and hypocrisy are highly emphasized in the novel. Repression is undoubtedly a cause of conflict between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The root of this repression can be found in Victorian England where there was no sexual appetites, no violence and no freedom of expressing emotion in the public sphere. Everything should be restrained and people in that times all behaved solemn and were not allowed to show their joys and sorrows. This repression can be well reflected within Dr. Jekyll in the novel. According to quotation of Stevenson’s description:
The sophisticatedly-constructed novel ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ was devised in 1886, during the revolutionary Victorian era, by the author, Robert Louis Stevenson. Stevenson developed a desire to write in his early life and ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ cemented his reputation. The novel is widely known for its shocking principles that terrified and alarmed the Victorian readers. ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ plays with the idea of the dual nature of man, his two identities. On the surface, Dr Jekyll is a conventional, Victorian gentleman, but below the surface lurks the primitive, satanic-like creature of Mr Edward Hyde. One of the elements that play a significant part in the novel is setting. Stevenson subtly uses the setting to
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
As the cities in the nineteenth century grew and expanded, more and more people moved from the countryside to said cities. With an increase in the size and population of the city a individual 's anonymity increased as well. Both the Paris Morgue and the novella Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde written by Robert Lewis Stevenson portray the anonymity of modern city life. While middle class men often appreciated the anonymity of the city, because it allowed them to escape social class restrictions, they also feared some of the negative implications. The working class, on the other hand, might have enjoyed the new found entertainment options, however they also had to fear being victims of crime and ending as nameless corpses. Women, both from the middle class and working class, experienced more freedom through the entertainment and leisure time options available due to the anonymous character of the city.
Robert Louis Stevenson uses imagery in many ways to create a mysterious mood in his writing. Mr. Hyde lived in a house, where “the door… was blistered and destained”(49). The quote shows how the door looked proving that the man living there did not care about his appearance and that he kept to himself. The next quote shows how the man had a blank stare and no feelings could be seen through his eyes. Hyde was very creepy and Stevenson described him as having a “blackness about his eyes”(66). The city of London had “a great chocolate-coloured pall”(70) over it. The quote cited gives a picture of how the fog was really dark, and it was hard to see through. Imagery is not the only way Stevenson portrayed a mysterious mood in the novel.
To what extent does the novella The strange case Of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde explore the notion that human nature is comprised both of good and evil, and how does the imagery support this theory? This essay will confront the issue of good and evil, and its usage and theories throughout the book "The strange case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde". The story is based around Mr.Utterson's, a longtime friend of Dr.Jekyll, search for the truth and the connection between Jekyll and Hyde, ending in the realization that they are actually the same person. The story centers around the idea that there is a struggle between people's good and evil sides, it merely depends on which you nurture more. There is also this idea that one side of you will
The dual character combination of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of the most well-known in literature and is arguably the most blatant example of duality Stevenson uses to try and get the theme of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde across. The dual personalities Dr. Jekyll possesses are stark examples of the animalistic and civilized sides of man that inherently resides in all men. The virtuous Dr. Jekyll serves as a portrayal of the more rational, human side of man. When Mr. Utterson attends Dr. Jekyll’s dinner party he paints a picture of a quintessential Victorian man when describing Jekyll’s appearance, “well
What is evil? That is a question people get asked a lot. The meaning of evil is profoundly immoral and malevolent. So people may say evil is just another characteristic of a person. It doesn't happen to everyone but when it does they stand out from the crowd. How do people become evil, they might get it from books, TV, role models, and others or over time they get the urge to hurt people or do other evil things. In Jekyll and Hyde evil comes from Mr. Hyde turning into Dr. Jekyll. It won't be as bad but Hyde was being a very rude and evil Jekyll.
Imagery plays a key role in the exploration of Dr. Jekyll's double character. Stevenson's use of imagery intensifies the plot and its relationship between good and evil (Rollyson 1863-1864). For example, Hyde is described as "apelike" and "like a monkey" while Dr. Jekyll is portrayed as handsome and elegant with "proper stature" (25-26, 38). This example indicates a "reverse evolutionary process" and confirms Jekyll's disastrous attempt to interfere with the order of nature (Page 763). In general, Hyde is illustrated as animalistic, ugly, and deformed mainly to conjure an evil opinion of this character. However, the physical description may be more than simply symbolic. "During the Victorian era, many believed in physiognomy," which was the belief that one could judge a criminal from his or her physical appearance. Hyde is depicted as a vampire who "feeds on the very life of his victims" (Abbey, et al. 327). ."..[Hyde was] drinking pleasure with bestial avidity from any degree of torture to another, relentless like a man of stone" (33). This vampire image suggests the way in which indulgence of evil eats away man's capacity for goodness. Lastly, Stevenson chose ideal names to suit and describe the personalities or actions of his characters. Just as Hyde hides in Jekyll, "Je kyll" hides in "Jekyll." In French, "Je" means I and "kyll" probably
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was written during the height of the Victorian era. In this period, there were huge debates concerning pursuing desire versus doing what was socially acceptable. There were also constant scientific discoveries being made. Stevenson 's piece, using a telescopic framework, is a product of romantic and Victorian traditions since it incorporates Victorian gentlemen, dark romantic subjects and duality within both Victorian and Romantic society. Being a gentleman and upholding your reputation in the Victorian era was the most important character trait, and seeing how a perfect gentleman like Dr. Jekyll could have such an evil side was a shock for society. The actions of Mr. Hyde went completely against social norms and expectations. Romantic topics like the subconscious, fears and nightmares/dreams are also depicted in this work. As well, there is something dark beneath the facade Victorian people wore. The contents of the story have an eerie vibe and demonstrate the potential dangers that people keep hidden. And finally, duality within Victorian and Romantic society is evident throughout the piece with self-control against desires and what’s on the surface against the subconscious. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde takes place during a time of large scale social
In Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, the theme of good versus evil is repeatedly portrayed in several different characters throughout the story. A debated question has arose and surrounded the topic of dual mortality and choosing between good and evil. The question is: Do you have the ability to choose between good and evil, or does one or the another choose your path for you? I believe that good and evil are rooted inside you from the moment you are born, but you have the ability to choose what you desire to become.