• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the insight which 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' gives the reader into Victorian society.

Extracts from this document...


English course work: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Discuss the insight which 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' gives the reader into Victorian society. Quote 'The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' gives an insight into Victorian society because they address some key characteristics which can be attributed to Victorian society, for example the supernatural, the fog, Victorian buildings and finally the advances in science which the Victorian society feared. This paper will now address these issues in more detail. 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' was written in 1886 by Robert Luis Stevenson when he was thirty-six years old. The structure of this novel is unique in that it is not cast entirely as a first-person narration, it could have been possible to tell the story in the manner of a confession from Jekyll's point of view. Robert Louis Stevenson uses multiple narrators to give the effect of different points of view. The story shows three different genres, detective story, horror story and gothic novella. ...read more.


Gothic novels also centre around secrets such as Jekyll's connection to Hyde, or doppelgangers, a German term referring to people who resemble other characters in strange ways. The monster which Frankenstein made is a doppelganger for the scientist, as Hyde is for Jekyll. Nearly every gothic novel relies on its geography for most of its appeal, they take place in strange eerie locations where the characters find it hard to escape ie Dracula's castle or for 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' the fog blanketed world of night time London. We read that Mr Utterson has dreams in which he views London as a nightmare landscape through which Hyde stalks committing violence against the innocent. The image of the city as a place with hidden terrors recurs to Mr Utterson but this time he is in the company of the police and is driving to Hyde's room early in the morning. A fog has masked the city seem 'like a district of some city in a nightmare' Stevenson shows great descriptive skill on this passage, here he describes the "great chocolate-coloured pall lowered ...read more.


The audience feared that the drug would take over the human mind as human civilization as a whole. This is another effect which made the book a gripping read. Because the fear of people being to clever and producing drugs which take over the mind this made the book appeal to the Victorian audience resulting in many more sales off the book. With the idea of a single body containing both the knowledgeable Dr. Jekyll and the depraved Mr. Hyde, Stevenson's novel imagines a link between civilization and savagery, good and evil. Jekyll's attraction to the freedom from restraint that Hyde enjoys mirrors Victorian England's secret attraction to the savage non-western cultures. In conclusion the novel shows great insight into the Victorians upper class society we see this in Dr Jekyll's house; as well as upper class society we see a side of the lower class this is shown through Mr Hyde. Also we read about the supernatural horror which taunts the reader, another factor is the fog, this gives the impression of a mask for Mr Hyde's rampages. 1Peter Weeks 10K English course work ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Robert Louis Stevenson section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Robert Louis Stevenson essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    To what extent can 'The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' be ...

    4 star(s)

    At the beginning Jekyll was confident he could control Hyde, "The moment I choose, I can be rid of Mr. Hyde." He tells Utterson, but in the end of the novel Jekyll admits that his alter-ego Hyde had almost total control over him, and he kept seeking more power over Jekyll.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Why would a Victorian reader find "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr ...

    4 star(s)

    person would find this fascinating because of the fact that a potion might be able to do what only God has been able to do before. London is portrayed as a city covered by a "great chocolate covered pall," for at this time smog was common over London.

  1. Explore Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and the Body Snatchers as both gothic ...

    This was somewhat different to the activities that took place behind closed doors, where they could be who they really where and fulfil all their whims of drinking, gambling and whatever else they desired regardless of how it would be viewed in society.

  2. To what extent can Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea and Jamaica Kincaid's Ovando be ...

    - and the reader recognises that whatever is said in the story simply has to be accepted as the truth. The author gives words an enormous amount of command and authority and, as such, the power of words in this story exceeds the influence of the reader to interpret the events for themselves.

  1. Consider atmosphere and setting in the 19th century stories you have read, and discuss ...

    the man is so unsure about passing it on to anyone, is there something bad about the Monkeys paw? Does it bring bad luck? We never know until the monkeys paw is actually used and we are kept in suspense, not knowing what to expect, the element of suspense in gothic writing is portrayed well in this story.

  2. Chapter 4 in 'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' is one ...

    The fact that London is 'startled' is a very imposing image as in the Victorian period, London was already an extremely violent area and for it to be startled would mean that something very out of the ordinary and outrageous must have happened.

  1. With particular reference to the construction of Mr Hyde, discuss how portrayal of the ...

    Stevenson's use a lot of pathetic fallacy throughout the novel is apparent, and this technique is a very strong and common factor displayed in a lot of Gothic Novels. Stevenson has used it to emphasise the horror that he is describing, and it helps to create a generally terrifying and Gothic atmosphere.

  2. Discuss the aspects of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel that make it a horror story ...

    brutally murdered and mutilated in Whitechapel in London, took place within two years of the publication of Stevenson's novel and at the same time as a dramatized version was running in the West End.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work